Something cool happened yesterday. I was reading/critiquing an early-draft manuscript for someone who had waited patiently for me to do so while I finished my revisions.
And I cried.
Here's the thing: BOOKS DON'T MAKE ME CRY. I know that sounds ludicrous, but it's true. Movies make me cry. Heck, Beauty and the Beast makes me cry every time. (Every. Time.) But books? Not so much.
Yet here I was, reading a draft that, to be honest, needs a LOT of work (Well, don't all early drafts?), and suddenly my eyes teared up.
And I cried.
That says something, right? Regardless of the work this piece needs, there is Something There. Because I didn't only cry--I read through lightning-fast because I WANTED TO.
Let's be honest. Works under critique aren't usually page-turners. We're busy making in-line notes and puzzling over plot points that aren't quite working. But this manuscript (and I have to keep emphasizing that it has a lot of problems!) made me want to keep reading. Even when I'd say to myself, "Okay, one chapter before I start my day," it would end up three chapters.
Is that exciting or what?
So I'm thinking, maybe I'm finally developing an eye for stories that work. This is the first time I've read a rough manuscript and was able to see the potential as clearly as though I had a final draft in my hands. And it's a heady feeling!
I think this author is going to make it happen, too. She's got the guts and tenacity and chutzpah to DO this thing. And...well, it's exciting.
So that's me, glowing over an amazing critique experience. What about you? Do you know a diamond-in-the-rough when you see it? Have you ever cried over someone's early draft?
Ain't the writerly life grand?