What would you do if your spouse wrote a piece you hated and then asked you to review it?
|I blinked, but the screen just glared back at me, taunting me, daring me to write the truth. Normally, I loved writing reviews, but this was different; this was personal. Two months ago, I had talked my husband, Mitch, into joining Writing.com.
“You’ll love it,” I told him. “You could try your hand at writing, and it will give us something in common. Remember in college? The nights we spent talking about books?”
“The reviewing could be fun, but writing?” Mitch frowned, shaking his head.
“No, you have to write too! Come on, please?” I gave him my best puppy-dog eyes; he just smiled weakly.
At first, it was great. We would e-mail the stories to each other and then, over dinner, debate the merits.
“No, way! The characters were totally flat,” Mitch said.
“Oh, come on!” I protested. “It’s a beautiful story. I loved how the narrator stepped off the train at the end.” And so our conversations went. Both of us were eating it up; I could feel that old spark.
Then, came the request for a review. Finally, after two months of my not-so-subtle hints, Mitch had written something. I couldn’t wait.
“No, problem,“ I said. But from the very first word, I knew I was in trouble. I hated it. Any other writer, any other time, I would have simply written a bad review, but this was Mitch. I had talked him into this. To write anything less than something flattering…. Well, it would ruin everything.
“Okay, Mrs. Hendrich. You’ve got to write something. After all, you are the diplomatic queen.”
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Your piece was very unique. Yea, I really doubt anyone else would write this drivel. Actually, I can’t believe you wrote this! I also thought that you have some very creative solutions for our healthcare crises. I’m just not sure why you tried to turn it into a short story. Can we say no tension? ...no climax? The insurance agent is very dedicated to his cause. Too dedicated.
STRENGTHS: You excel at presenting detailed points. Boring details.
FAVORITE PARTS/LINES: Oh, boy…. Okay let’s just delete this section.
SUGGESTIONS: Ummmm… Instead of a short story, perhaps you should consider writing a nonfiction essay. I think this topic would lend itself well to that venue. Yea, now that’s a positive spin without saying start over.
GRAMMAR: No major errors! Phew! That’s the easy part.
BOTTOM LINE: Honey, I’m glad to see you are writing! Well, that’s the truth; I think.
I hit submit with a short-lived sigh of relief. Oh, no! Set for a required rating? That did it! I jumped up from the chair and went on the hunt. I found Mitch glued to the TV.
“Honey,” I interrupted, “I’ve been thinking -- maybe you were right. I shouldn’t push you into writing if that’s not what you want.”
Mitch turned his big blue eyes on me and grinned, “You hated it, huh?”
I grinned, smelling a rat, “Yep.”
Word Count = 497