So why give it to them?
|This picture is in no way relevant to my post. I just like it.|
But that doesn't make it any less scary, or the desire to say nevermind to that person any less intense. Honestly, having a partner like this never even really occurred to me until recently, when I was talking to a fantastic woman who I read for. I really enjoy her stuff, I like a range of things. She, however, loves her happy stuff, her faeries and witches and other supernatural and paranormal creatures. If it happens down the street, she isn't all that interested in it. And my stuff? It's emotional, it's liable to make you cry, it's been known to twist your heart out and set it on fire and throw razor blades through it before giving it to the alligators (not my words). It is the stuff that could happen down the street.
So why, when this particular person rarely reads contemporary, when she likes things to maybe get serious and intense but end on a lighter note, would I possibly send her my dark and sordid tale of brotherly woe? Because one, she wants to read it. Because two, I trust her. And because three, she will be able to tell me when maybe I am getting a little too dark, a little too emotional for too long. When those things that are a turn off to the people who only dabble in the genre come in, she won't be afraid to tell me. And if it's something that is just a personal distaste of hers, she won't feel the need to tell me that either because she understands the reason why it's in there, even if it's not what she would do.
And those are the scariest people to send your work to, but one of the most valuable. Does that mean you only want people who don't dabble in your genre? Of course not. But don't let fear, or a desire to have every beta reader adore your work, or just plain stubbornness keep you from getting what could be some of the most valuable feedback you'll get. Send it to the people outside your genre, and be open minded when you get their notes back.