I had my 10-year-old son review my WIP yesterday. He reads a lot and he's not afraid to tell me when something sucks. He had read this story in an earlier incarnation, but over the course of a year it's changed a lot.
I heard chuckles, he made marks and notes. When he got to the beginning of Chapter 8 he looked up and said, "You're good with humor!"
Can you even imagine how happy those four words made me? I'm not a naturally funny person. Sarcastic, yes. But funny? I have to work at it. To hear him say that felt as good as an editor saying she wants to publish my book. Well, almost.
The thing is, I know my son loves me, but he also takes a sort of sadistic pleasure in pointing out my weakness and mistakes. Like if I wear a tank top, it's like an open invitation for him to come up from behind, shake the flab on the back of my arms and say, "Squishy, squishy, squishy." Exactly the words every woman wants to hear.
And don't let me call something by the wrong name, especially one of my children. That invites ridicule like nothing else!
I know that editors and agents could care less how much your family likes your writing. Don't worry. I won't be adding his recommendation to my query. But he is in my target audience. And to see the pleasure on his face, to hear him say how much he likes the story...well, it was priceless.