Spousal Critique Partners: Fine!

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March 19, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue

Fine from GraphJam

Ok, so part of the reason spouses make poor choices for critique partners is obvious.

“What do you mean you don’t like that scene? To the couch with you! Hope you enjoy the dog’s snores all night…. muahahahahaha!”

That’s never really happened, at least not in our house, but we have gotten hung up on some really stupid debates.

My husband is kind of the co-creator of my books. He helps me think up and flesh out characters, plot lines, and interesting scenes. He’s the person I turn to when my muse gives me the silent treatment and I‘m not sure where to go with the story. Ultimately, though, I feel as though the story and the characters are mine since I do all the writing.

Unfortunately, his perception of who each character should be and how they act does not always mesh with mine.

Character Development Round 615: FIGHT!

All I really wanted to do was discuss the overarching changes I had made to a couple of chapters in draft 3 of my book. Somehow we ended up stuck for twenty minutes debating over whether or not a certain character should respond with a “Goddammit, Jac!” in a certain piece of dialogue.

What the argument boiled down to was that the hubby’s view of this character was much more alpha male than my vision of him. I refused to add the phrase because it conflicted with how I thought the character would behave in the scene and since it’s my character, I’m right, right?

Me: “Can we just move on? There’s other parts of this scene I wanted to discuss.”

Husband: (knowing I’m trying to bail from the argument and hoping he’ll forget about it and never notice that I didn’t add the phrase) “You’re missing an opportunity here.”

Me: “Fine. Moving on…”

And we do move on, but the argument goes with us into the next segment of discussion. Because we both know that when a woman says “Fine,” she means “I’m right, go f*ck, yourself.” So ten minutes later we’re embroiled in another debate over the use of the term invective, because one of us has to win.

Which means another stalemate resolved by us ending up watching videos of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon doing The History of Rap Part 4, and a cease-fire is called because you can’t be mad at a white girl well past her clubbing years trying to dance hip hop in the middle of the living room.

I know he’s just waiting until I’m not watching to access my draft and write in his suggested changes. I’ll be sleeping with one eye open…


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