A Goodreads user
A Goodreads user asked Nick Harkaway:

How long do you typically wait before showing your work to someone else?

Nick Harkaway Well, my wife gets to see it whenever she wants. There are times when she'll be heavily into what's happening and she'll come home and jump up and down shouting "pages!" and that's how I know I need to be very productive.

Other than that I don't really make rules about it. Like right now my agent has seen some of the new book - although what he's seen is hopelessly out of date - and I sent my editor in the UK the first page basically just to make him crazy. (This is a very important part of one's authorial responsibilities.)

I probably wouldn't show the book as it stands to anyone beyond that, because it's still in a mess with wires hanging out of the ceiling. I'm making decisions right now, today, which could cause a page one rewrite or make it all fall into line and save me a couple of months. At that point there's not much percentage in asking someone to have an opinion.

On the other hand, I might, I just might, show a few pages to someone I admire if I was feeling down and needed a boost to get through a section.

People have all kinds of rules about this, and they worry about spending the magic and they worry about talking too much about a project under way and so on, and all those things have some validity - it is possible to talk rather than write, and there is something special about the delighted energy you put into something the first time you write a bit you've been waiting to reveal or whatever. But that said, it's also true that great creativity often comes out of relationships rather than solitude, and that speaking something makes it real and forces you to deal with the places where it doesn't work. So there are reasons to share, too. As in all things about writing, it's down to you and how you want to play it.
Nick Harkaway
53,331 followers

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more