So I asked about this last night on Twitter. (If you're not on twitter at midnight, you really miss out on some bizarre interesting conversations.) But anyway, Tina Lynn, Sierra Godfrey, JmDiaz, and Katie Salidas all chimed in with their opinions on the question of letting your spouse read your manuscripts. Each had let their S.O. read their stuff, but there were mixed results on how that turned out.
For my two completed manuscripts, I allowed my husband to read the finished products. And here's what I've discovered as the benefits and drawbacks of doing so.
1. It's good for your spouse to see what you've been ignoring them over for the last few months. When they see how much you've done, they'll feel less annoyed that you were obsessed with your laptop.
2. Spouses are good cheerleaders.
3. When you talk about your story or characters, they know what the heck you're talking about.
1. My hubs is a supportive and loving guy--but he's so much so that this makes him a useless beta reader because he always says he liked it.
2. If you have an overly opinionated spouse, their negative feedback could cause arguments because you're not afraid of jumping their case whereas you would hold back if your crit partner gave the same kind of harsh feedback.
3. It can be hard for your significant other to separate your main character from you. This can be especially troublesome if you write romantic stories or books with love scenes in them.
For me, the biggest drawback has been #3. After my hubby read Wanderlust, he was a little broody. My story has love scenes between my MC and a rockstar character who looks nothing like my husband. So of course, hubs was convinced after reading it that I must secretly want to be married to some tattooed bad boy rocker. Or that when we go to rock concerts, that I must be picturing the lead singers in various state of undress, which of course is exactly what I'm doing but only in the name of research *cough* ridiculous.
Now, once I reminded him that my MC is NOT me, that just because my character hearts the hero, doesn't mean that the guy is MY hero, he seemed to see the light. In fact, after that discussion, he said he's in a better place about it all and wants to read my next book.
: / Hrm.
Peek over in the sidebar and check out the genre of my current WIP Exposure Therapy. Um, yeah. I'm thinking the hubs might have to wait until this one gets published before he lays eyes on it.
So, what's your opinion? Do you let your significant other read your work? Are you cool with your guy/girl reading your love scenes (if you have them)? If you have let them read your work, has it been a good thing or a not so good thing?