My wife, Karen, is crafty. Not in the sneaky sense, nor in the witchy sense, but in the “let’s make really cool things sense.” Being an active person, she’s not that much of a reader, she’d much rather be doing. Granted, she’ll read all the ‘how to’ books in the universe, and then go make cool things, but she’s not one for 400 page novels that have heroes with lots of glottal stops and apostrophes in their names.
Imagine my delight and surprise when she sat down and ready my short story The Enlightened Soldier, a submission for Fringe Works’ anthology, Andromeda’s Offspring. Not only that, but she spotted a change that made the ending 100% better.
She sat down an read my short story, Well and truly sporked, another submission for Fringe Works, this time for their Potatoes anthology. Not only did she read it, she liked it as well and gave good feedback. Not wanting to waste a good thing, I got her to read my Raus! Untoten! inspired short story, Bluttrinker. Although she’s not a fan of war stories – she said that unlike my other stories, it was two armies in lines, in a field – she did like the plot. She even came with some great points, and even said that a certain phrase turned what was looking to be really exciting, into a poor attempt at humour. BANG, consider that baby gone!
This is where I get to the point. If you have a wife who is not into science fiction, doesn’t enjoy reading war stories and hasn’t read a whole raft of books, get them to read your stories. They will have a refreshingly honest approach and will ask questions that you have probably never considered, as well as casting a completely un-jaundiced eyes over your stories.
If they give it their approval, it has to be good. Because, as all men know, wives are not unstinting in their praise. Unlike mothers, who love everything we do and still have the Christmas-tree fairy we made when we were three.