I Am So Addicted….

This weekend I did the unthinkable.

I allowed friends to read the rough draft of the first two chapters of my novel.

Now…a few people have read it before…my husband, best friend, and Critique Reader.  But this was different.

These ladies knew nothing about the story.  They’d never read a word of my writing.  They had no idea what to expect and therefore were the perfect experiment.  I wanted to give them just a taste.

I watched closely as each person read, studying them, part of me wanting to crawl under the table from the anxiety and the other part too excited to see their reaction to look away. 

I realized I am addicted to this process.  I love to see their eyes widen, their mouth drop, a little laugh escape, their brow crumple.  I note every response to see if it is what I wanted.

And so far it is.

I asked them for honesty and they gave it.  Granted, they aren’t looking for adverbs or proper sentence structure, or too much exposition or bad dialogue tags, but they can tell if what they are reading sucks them in….they know if they want to read more. 

And they did. 

And my heart swelled to the point of bursting.  I didn’t think I could take anymore.

Then….they discussed the characters as if they knew them.  They understood their struggles, their hearts, and deepest desires.  I was in another dimension, thanks to them.

What I wanted to achieve in those first two chapters was accomplished…they all felt what I wanted them to feel and they all fell in love with the characters.  This motivated me to the nth degree.

So… Thank You to those ladies, for giving me exactly what I needed…a little fire under my tail to get this thing finished!!

Have you had any similar experiences?  Do you LOVE watching people read your work?  Does it make you a nervous wreck?

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9 Comments

  1. I love that too! It's one of the reasons Mr. Lemmony doesn't want to read because I HOVER. And wait for him to laugh. Or smile. Or cough. Something. Anything. I'm a feedback JUNKIE.

  2. Hey Charissa..
    This is the first time I am visiting your blog and I am mighty impressed!
    Although I don't write books but I do write articles (for newspapers, magazines) and short stories. I am all nervous when I am about to show them to my friend or a family member..I am literally biting my nails!
    And when it is in print I get even more nervous but I am excited about the response too!

  3. I haven't done this yet but it sounds very liberating! Also, I'm sure it is a nice affirmation of what you are doing. Way to go! I am starting on draft 2 here soon and I will be following in your footsteps. πŸ™‚

  4. I can't watch people read my work, but I love to hear their feedback. Last week I let someone read part of my Mr. Darcy novel for the first time. I had a revision thought and needed another point of view. I got a response today, and she could really see Darcy the way I picture him. It feels great. πŸ˜€

    Let's enjoy this feeling, shall we? πŸ˜‰