Monday, September 15, 2008


I have an amazing critique group and an amazing agent but my favorite readers are my 3 amazing children (ages 8, 11 and 12.5). Not only are they blunt to the point of smacking me upside the head with a copy of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE PERILOUS PLOT OF PROFESSOR POOPYPANTS, but they learn so much about writing from critiquing my work.

Over the years I have urged them to not just say, "I like it" or "This is boring", but to tell me specifically what they like and what doesn't work. I ask them to brainstorm on how they would rewrite it and/or what they would love to read. Now don't think helping mom perfect her stories is their favorite pastime. They would much rather be out throwing a football, whupping a baseball, dancing like Baryshnikov or hanging with their friends. However, by learning how to question, to think, to revise, my three favorite readers have each become wonderful writers with a critical eye to their own work.

Today's good news is that my 8 year old just read my newest version of CROC & ALLY and declared, "It should already be published." I'm feeling great because this manuscript had merited a POOPYPANTS smacking in the past.


  1. Awww. ;-)

    So when IS it getting published???

  2. Just sent the revision to Ronnie. I am hoping she loves it and editors do too.

  3. Crossing my fingers.

    I think you should start a new book rating system that includes such levels of writing greatness from "should already be published" to "smack with Capt Underpants."

  4. Hmmm, Blogger is thwarting me today. I commented and it ate my comment!

    Congrats on going from thwacked by Captain Underpants to ready to be published!

  5. Cool that you have kids who critique you - mine say it's toooo boring.

  6. Yes!!! So well put. My eight year old considers herself a "writer." And she's WAY better than I was at that age.

    Snarfy story: A writer friend of mine has been working on a novel about family secrets. Her 6 year old is struggling to adjust to her 1st grade class and when the teacher asked what was wrong, she said, "there are just a lot of family secrets!"

    Crossing fingers and toes for you!



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