Through a Child’s Story

Yesterday, my eleven year-old son handed me a short story he’d written for school.  He asked me not to mark on it because he’d spent a lot of time typing it.  The writer in me desperately wanted to show misspellings, errors and um, add paragraph breaks.  😉


But the writer in me was also blown away by this glimpse into a future storyteller’s early ability.  He had written the story in first person with sentences like this one.


“The air was sweet in my lungs.”


I could tell he was proud of his work and instead of making him retype with spellings corrected and um, those pesky paragraph breaks, I spent more time complementing him.  Yes, I told him the things it needed, but I didn’t put the emphasis on that.  Instead, I focused on the positive of the story, pointed out the wonderful turns of phrase.  He’s had a rough time of it lately and to see him put this kind of effort into something warmed my heart.


It also opened my eyes.


This little story about a caveman’s battles before being accepted into a more evolved clan of people was so full of heart.  In a few short pages, he showed glimpses of family love and loyalty, harsh survival, the painful reality of battle…and then the wonder of true human acceptance for those different than ourselves.  


My son reminded me of what’s important–not only in writing and critiquing–but in this world.   It could not have been timelier.   


He also made me remember why I jumped into this writing gig. 


The passion and excitement of seeing a story come to life.

The occasional awe and surprise when some evocative description rolls into a story.

The need to show true human emotion and survival during difficult times.


All through a child’s story.


I’m glad I didn’t make him correct that paper even though his grade will suffer a bit from format.  A new writer’s ego is fragile.  And though this toughens up a bit over time, even we veterans can reel from a hard knock once in awhile.




About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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6 Responses to Through a Child’s Story

  1. It’s so much fun to see talent develop before your eyes and to re-affirm what you are doing and why. And I can see why he wrote about being accepted since he struggles so much himself with being a shade different at times. Too cool. Carol

  2. That’s an awesome mommy moment. I love those! And good for him! 🙂

  3. Julia Hinkle says:

    Of course, Nana thinks everything he does is wonderful. I married a writer, some of my children are writer’s, and now my grandson. Wow, no wonder I have to wade through so many WORDS…. It’s hard to stand up to powerful, passionate words especially when they are uttered by dear ones. I keep telling Rinda her best work would be on our crazy – RED Neck, Steel Magnolia family. Everyone of them (Excluding of course, me) is plain looney.hahaha… i was born crazy, and I will die crazy.
    I truly am proud of all my little and big writer’s. They sure could get out of a lot of trouble using such passionate words. I fell for them each time, still do. It’s quite entertaining to live with such egotistical, passionate people, never a dull moment. iIcould write a book on it myself, except I’m terrible at spelling, writing and all that English junk……I just go with the flow, worrrying my little off and hoping for a better day……I like people the way they are – rather opinionated, somewhat bossy and definitately occassionally down right rude. it’s what gives the world it’s spice.

  4. relliott4 says:

    Mom, egotistical? Moi? 😉

  5. Peggy Beaty says:

    Looks like mom is a writer too! Quite entertaining.

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