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[child] She amazes me, again - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-04-29 17:08
Subject: [child] She amazes me, again
Security: Public
Tags:child, process, writing
the_child was just here, knitting something involving four needles (no, I don't know what) in the aftermath of her math homework. She started talking about writing. First, she asked me about point of view. She didn't quite have the formal vocabulary down, but she had the idea firmly in hand. We walked through first and third, tight and distant, and did a little storytelling by example. Then we talked about second person, and sensory detail, and how it all fit together.

She asked me about landscape and setting, and how those descriptions were affected by point of view choice. So we talked through some of that, did a little more storytelling. I dragged out a Terry Pratchett book, and we discussed examples.

Her next question was about what happens when an editor receives a book that they thought was well-written, but they just didn't like. We talked about taste, craft and quality, and how manuscripts can be passed between editors and agents for those reasons.

Her final question was whether being a writer had changed the way I look at books, whether I paid attention to how things were being done instead of the story. I told her that one of my great delights these days was a book that caught me up so much I paid no attention to craft.

I have sat through weekend long seminars with adult writers who couldn't coherently discuss these aspects of fiction. My twelve-year-old is thinking it through, on her own initiative. She has resolved to pay attention to her reading and see what she can learn about writing.

I am amazed, and proud to the point of tears.

Post A Comment | 16 Comments | | Link

User: corvida
Date: 2010-04-30 00:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's the because the child is awesome, and you've given her some sharp tools for her toolbox.
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User: quantuminsanity
Date: 2010-04-30 00:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You seem to have raised a super awesome child.
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2010-04-30 00:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
as you should be... she sounds like an amazing child...

and you should be proud of how you raised her too :)
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selfavowedgeek: Thick as Thieves
User: selfavowedgeek
Date: 2010-04-30 01:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Thick as Thieves
RE: "I am amazed, and proud to the point of tears."

Dang straight.
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewriter
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2010-04-30 01:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, she's a keeper.
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sparta5: TheQueen
User: sparta5
Date: 2010-04-30 01:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
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Leah Cutter: Sunrise
User: lrcutter
Date: 2010-04-30 01:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
So very, very cool! You should be proud.
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Reynardo the Red
User: reynardo
Date: 2010-04-30 01:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh so *that* was the exploding noise I head recently - you, self-combusing with pride!

By the way, 4 needles is usually circular knitting of some sort, probably socks or (if she's really advanced), gloves.
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User: talekyn
Date: 2010-04-30 03:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's awesome. My 12 year old nephew recently actually started discussing the books he's been reading with me, and it caught me off-guard at first when he talked plot and character instead of just "and then they did this ..."
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2010-04-30 03:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sweet. Totally sweet. You've done well with her.
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User: bram452
Date: 2010-04-30 04:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The child rocks.
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Mary Dell
User: marydell
Date: 2010-04-30 04:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's wonderful, particularly when you've been having such a shit time with everything stepping on your writing time. It's like she walked you through an affirmation of who you fundamentally are.
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User: keikaimalu
Date: 2010-04-30 05:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's really lovely. Quite a daughter you have there.
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User: rcloenen_ruiz
Date: 2010-04-30 08:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
She is awesome.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2010-04-30 09:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Your daughter is a star.
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User: twinkelbelpeach
Date: 2010-04-30 14:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Doesn't matter whether it's genes or nurturing, you should be proud.
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