When To Share Your Writing
When Should You Tell People What You’ve Written?
All the time. I’m almost 20,000 words into my thriller novel and I enjoy talking about it. This will be my first book and I wasn’t even sure I was capable of writing that many words. I have a strong belief I will finish it one day.
Why do I tell friends and family?
I want to gauge other people’s reactions. I want to get an idea of whether I’m pitching to other people in the correct manner. Are people excited when I tell them about my book or are they bored out of their minds? This way, when my book is finally complete and I’m ready to type up a query letter, I’ll have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
If you’re passionate about something, you should share it with the world.
Should you email someone a first draft?
There are plenty of different viewpoints on this. Some people would scoff at the idea of letting a friend or family member read something before it’s absolutely perfect. I believe strongly in letting people read my novel as I write it. I’ve had about 8 people read my first draft and I’ve received some great feedback that I wouldn’t have caught on my own. I’m biased so of course I think my novel is amazing. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s true. I’ve managed to get an idea of what sections people like and which ones need to be streamlined.
The question becomes, “Are the people reading your story giving you honest feedback or are they just saying nice things because they’re friends and family?”
It’s tough to gauge the type of feedback you’re getting. I’m fortunate in that some of my readers are very blunt people so I know they’re not sugar coating things for me. If you share your work with people before it’s done, make sure you have enough beta readers to get a wide variety of opinions and view points.
Having someone else put their lense on your novel before it’s done can be a scary thing. It can be disheartening or might even disourage you from continuing on.
How else will you get better unless you get readers who like the genre you’re writing in to give you feedback?