Writing Advice from #1 Son

I have son who is an excellent writer. He would be great for advice and feedback – if only we were on the same page. We don’t read the same thing (although he did introduce me to the Night Angel trilogy which I loved) and we certainly don’t write about the same things.

Recently I was working on a new idea and passed over the first 200 words or so for his opinion. He threw it back at me. “I’m not reading anything where a little kid gets killed in the first sentence.” Fair enough. That might have been a bit violent and he is right in my target reader age group, so I figured it was a valid criticism. I made a change.

Back it came again. “I’m not reading it if you have to kill people. You are not allowed to kill anyone.” “Surely I can kill someone?” I ask hopefully. “Only very, very old people. And only if they are sick and about to die.” Hmmm. Not much room to work there but I rose to the challenge. I made a change. Back it came faster than before. “A cat, Mum. That’s just sick. I am not reading this.”

*sigh* I’ve put that ms away for a while.

BTW The Night Angel trilogy is very dark, very violent and very scary. Brent Weeks is apparently allowed to kill as many people as he likes! Not fair.

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5 responses to “Writing Advice from #1 Son”

  1. Joanne Sandhu says:

    Loved this post. I have the same problem. After many re-writes of a first chapter, Mr 12 hissed through clenched teeth: I’m not reading this again until you’ve made all the changes you’re going to make! That was two years ago and I haven’t been brave enough to try again.

  2. katswhiskers says:

    You horrid mother, Sandy. I can’t believe you would subject your child to that!!! :O

    Kidding. Sounds like double standards there. NOT that I have tried to kill off any of my characters…

    I agree, btw. Our kids make great critters. Perhaps because they’ve grown up with that role? I wouldn’t submit a book without hearing my boys’ feedback – and making subsequent changes… or engaging in torrid debate!

  3. Just had my first laugh out loud moment of a very tiring day – thank you, Cat-loving Son!

  4. Katrina says:

    I think I’m with your son! Thanks for the giggle.

  5. DC Green says:

    My daughter urges me to kill more! But yes, double-standarded or not, our grommets are priceless (and brutally honest) critters!

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