Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When My Mom Cried

It was nerve-wracking to let my mom read my manuscripts. When she read the second one, I waited and waited to hear what she'd say.

Then she called and told me she cried.

I was floored.

What a compliment! I know she's my mom and that her viewpoint is going to be different than a more objective reader, but I was still flattered and I still smiled.

Who do you let read your work? What kind of comments make you smile?

44 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

That is a GREAT compliment! Anytime I hear that, that makes me smile. Because it's proof that our stories are touching somebody emotionally.

I let my hubby read my stuff, my crit partners, my sister-in-law, and two of my best friends. Lots of people. I'm not shy about letting people read my work. If they ask, I let them!

Erika Robuck said...

I love when people cry. That's the best. Congratulations!!

Jessica Nelson said...

Erika, it's a first for me so yeah, I was grinning. :-)

Katie, LOL, I'm impressed with how free you are in sharing your work. It's kind of hard for me to do, though when someone asks I wouldn't say no. I can't wait to see what happens with your manuscript!

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Crit. partners, sometimes my mom and one sister and a good local friend.

I love that you moved your mom to tears.
~ Wendy

Lisa Jordan said...

My mom thinks I'm the best writer on the planet, so while I value her praise, her words don't make me grow as a writer. I love it when my writing mentor or crit partners say *they* experienced the same emotions as my characters.

Thanks for sharing about your mom. Great bonding!

Jody Hedlund said...

That's very cool, Jessica! My mom read one of my first books, but I'm pretty sure I didn't make her cry! I'm sure she'll read my debut and be proud of me though!

Jessica Nelson said...

Jody, I'm sure she will! And this particular book has some sad spots, but not all of mine do that. I can't wait to read it too!

Lisa, I agree! LOL I know I could be horrible and my mom would still ask to read more (even if she didn't want to, heehee). I also agree that other writers' feedback is particularly useful because I think writers are some of the pickiest readers out there (myself included!)

Wendy, sounds like you have a great support circle. ;-)

Tamika: said...

Mom's always know just waht we need!

So far, I've only let my critique group read my manuscript. I want it to be as good as good can be before I pass it along to my family. It sounds kind of backwards, but I want them to see me shine from page one:)

Jessica Nelson said...

I know, right? Hhaaaa. Tamika, I understand and feel the same way. My crit group fixes stuff and then I let family read it. :-)

WindyA said...

What a huge compliment, to be able to evoke that emotion! WTG!

Linda Kage said...

Yay, Jessica! Congrats. That's exactly what happened to me too. Actually, I gave the book to my sister since she's the first person I let read ALL my books, but she gave it to my mom without telling me. So, my mom calls me up and says it made her cry. Best compliment ever. I know how you feel.

Julie Jarnagin said...

Ah! That's great. I usually let me mom read my manuscripts. She's not the most objective reader, but I love hearing her reaction.

Patti said...

I love when people tell me they laugh or stayed up all night reading, those are the best.

Keli Gwyn said...

How wonderful that your story moved your mother to tears, Jessie. I love it when writers make me feel so connected to their characters that I share in their joys and sorrows. Sounds like you're one of them. Can't wait until the day I can grab your books off the shelf.

Jessica Nelson said...

Keli, me too about loving being connected to others' work. I can't wait until the day I get one of your books off the shelf too! :-)

Patti, I agree, the best!

LOL Julie! My mom thinks she's objective but I know deep down that she's not. Doesn't stop my ego from preening though. *grin*

Bethany Mattingly said...

I recently let my future roommate read 2 chapters of my book. She talked about a character, saying she didn't trust him but she didn't know why. Knowing his coming role in the plot, I know he's shifty, but seeing my foreshadowing actually work was incredible.

Jessica Nelson said...

Linda! That's so cool. :-) You know how wonderful it is too.

Windy A, yeah, it is a big compliment for me. I mean, I know it's my mom and all but it still feels good. :-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Bethany, that's awesome! Confirmation that we're heading in the right direction always feels good. :-)

L. E. Neighbour said...

I've let my parents read my work and they're usually encouraging which makes me smile. But nothing makes me happier than when I share something I've written with friends and they say "WOW" or "that's really good/deep/life-changing/etc" Then I know I've hit the nail on the head. I'm blessed to have friends who are not afraid to tell me what they think and if something isn't top-notch, I will know :P
That's not to say my parents aren't that way, but somehow it is different...

Angie Muresan said...

You were certainly brave, Jessica. I only allow my husband to read, and only parts I have problems with.

Jessica Nelson said...

LE, it's def. different. :-) I'm glad you have friends to run your stuff by!

Angie, LOL, not so brave probably. Even though I have lots of writer friends who've read my work, showing it to family is harder for some reason. That's sweet your husband's helps you though. :-)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Your post brings to mind Randy Ingermanson's instructions on the big emotional moments.

My mother likes to read my work, and she let's me know if it's not on target. I also have to fabulous online crit partners and my writers group.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Dara said...

I let my critique group read my work and sometimes my sister.

I love the comments when they see the good comparisons I draw between my character and a famous literary one (The Scarlet Letter is a huge role in my book, hence why the title is similar). I haven't gotten to the emotional parts yet, so I've yet to see if I make anyone cry. I doubt it will come from my crit group or my sister--they don't cry very easily!

Jessica Nelson said...

Dara, good point about crying. My mom is actually a sniffler so I'm not convinced that my story is some great tear jerker. LOL I forgot about your story being close to the Scarlet Letter. I heard someone just pubbed a sequel to SL.

Susan, sounds like you have a great mom like I do. :-)

Erica Vetsch said...

Cool that your mom got so engaged with the characters that she cried.

I remember the grin I wore when my mom called to say she enjoyed my first book. :)

I have a couple of crit partners who read my work, and one 'first reader' who sees it before I send it along for crits.

The funniest response so far to my work is a friend who is a college professor read my debut novel, told me she liked it, then asked if I wanted her to point out where I started sentences with a conjunction. LOL

I told her thank you, but no. Occasionally it is okay in fiction to start a sentence with And or But. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

That is wonderful that she cried!! That's what I hope for when someone reads mine:) A great Beta reader.

patti said...

Oh, what a WONDERFUL experience!!!
I let hubby read the first two books but only crit partners have read #3.

I smile when they say nice things and frown at the other kind...

LOL.

Diane said...

Ahhhhhh! :O)

www.dianeestrella.com

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Who would have thought you'd be happy you made your mom cry? ;)

I've only read your first chapter of one story, but I love your writing, so I can see why she'd give such a great compliment.

My writing group, my mom, and a few close friends get to read my stories. I don't think anyone has ever cried though.

Elana Johnson said...

Well, I never let family members, that's for sure! Too embarrassing. They have to wait until none of the words can be changed.

I only let those I trust not to make me bleed read it. Then the injuries hurt less.

Jessica Nelson said...

Elana!!! NO family at all? Tsk, tsk. I understand the bleeding part though. It's really hard for me to let people read my work until I've gotten to know them. I do it, but it makes my palms clammy.

Hey Karen, thank you for your sweet comment. :-) This particular story is a little sad but I'm not sure my other ones would make anyone cry either, so no worries. How's it coming along, btw? (the mermaid one)

Diane, got your treats today!!! I'll be sending a thanks later. ;-)

Jessica Nelson said...

Erica, that's hilarious!!! Fiction relies on style, not grammar. Too funny. :-) And sweet about your mom. We're very blessed to have such supportive moms.

Terri, yeah, I do think she's a good Beta because she reads a ton of romance and she's learning how to be honest with me. LOL I think she was afraid at first to hurt my feelings.


Patti, I'll echo that LOL on "other things" Ha!

Julie Dao said...

AWW! What a great compliment. I love it when people cry when they read my work :) You know there's an emotional connection that they had with the story.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Really really really close friends. :0)

Deb Shucka said...

Your mom sounds so cool. That must have been amazing to here. I let anyone read who asks. The comments that make me smile are the ones that tell me my words have touched a heart.

Jessica Nelson said...

Julie, yep.

Kristen, you're careful, huh? :-)

Deb, my mom is very cool. She's always been much cooler than me too. LOL!

T. Anne said...

How awesome that you were able to move her to tears!!!! I'd love to let my hubby read them but alas that will be a miracle. He's not too into reading, period. Wish I had a willing reader!

Warren Baldwin said...

Every chapter in Roaring Lions was read (or heard) by people before it hit the book. Some of the material was in the blog, some taught in a class, some used in other articles. Chapters I had questions about I specifically asked my wife to read b/c I know she would be honest about whether they should be included in the book. Several got culled that way.

Natalie said...

That is awesome. I think creating any strong emotion for a reader is a huge accomplishment. I don't think I've ever made anyone cry, but I love when someone tells me a line made them laugh out loud.

CMOM Productions said...

So far, my work has mainly been read by my husband, my Mom, a friend who also writes, & my father-in-law's girlfriend.

Jessica Nelson said...

CMOM, sounds like you have a good list there. :-)

Natalie, sometimes I even think making someone laugh is harder. To laugh out loud...I think that's huge.

Warren, I'm really enjoying your devotions. I know I need to review it soon. :-)

T. Anne, I promise I know what you mean! My husband reads nothing. Absolutely nothing. I know he'll never read my book. Maybe the first pubbed one...I don't know. LOL

Karen Lange said...

What a wonderful compliment, and what a great person to have on your team.
Blessings to you,
Karen

Glynis said...

How lovely for you, a compliment indeed!

Irritable Mother said...

Hey Jessica,
I've been doing some catch-up reading, but have to stop here to comment. My best-est, most favorite thing that anyone ever said to me after reading my manuscript was when Brian read Finding Joy.
He looked at me and said with enthusiasm, "Karen, a GUY could get something out of this!"
Oh, that made me so happy!
Also loved it when I 'caught' him laughing as he read - and it was at the right part, too. *grin*