David is my "alpha" reader. He's the first one to read the draft, so he sees it in all its first draft glory (I first typed that as "gory" by mistake, and I almost left it). I then take his notes and feedback and proceed to hammer the manuscript into something better before it goes to beta readers.
However, this isn't without its bumps. Taking criticism, although necessary, isn't easy for most writers, and I'm no exception. And lest you think the man I'm married to isn't the best person to deliver honest feedback, I assure you, he's brutal. But the results of our back and forth over a draft are often rather amusing. For example:
When he first started reading, I asked him over Skype how it was going. His reply?
"Good. You only made me swear once in my notes so far."
Um, I think that's good?
Often he'll take to utilizing visual aids to help make his point, such as pasting this in the draft:
"...I took you to dinner…. I bought you choclolate…. I gave you babies….. And this is how repay me??? Why don’t you just rip my soul out and throw it out to sea….. You have killed me… I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul….. Seriously wtf!!! It’s like the Spanish inquisition all over again…. You might as well have started a crusade against my ideas and creativity… why don’t you capture the Jerusalem of my being and take it over with your inability to take my ideas into account. The only thing that can make this better are ranger cookies. Until then… We are mortal enemies."
Do you see what I deal with?
But, at the end of the day, my books will always be better because of his input and I wouldn't change our collaborative awesomeness for anything.