Imagine your darling baby grows large enough to suddenly resemble a near-teen, old enough to write a book. A real book. A whole 35k of words with a beginning, middle, and end. He’s worked on it for six months, getting up at the crack of dawn to transcribe his scribbled notes to Word before he goes to school. Now imagine that child that you love more than life itself asks you to critique their very first novel.
“Do you mean you’d like to have me fix the grammar and stuff?” I ask.
“Well, what do you do for other authors?” says Dark Omen.
“Usually I would give feedback on the craft and character arcs and make suggestions about how they could tell the story better. Kind of like an editor.”
“That’s what I want! I want you to be my editor!” The grin is wide on his face.
I am very glad that I have had lots of practice on other authors, strangers and friends who I want to be kind and honest with, before I have to practice this on my own flesh and blood. So I read his book, and I discover that my son is a talented writer, young in craft, with a wicked sense of humor and love of detailed action scenes. I find myself giving suggestions about craft and clarity, just as I would with any other writer-friend. I comment on plot holes and type “Ha!” and “LOL” a lot in the margins. I write a long note at the beginning, praising his hard work, discussing things he can change, and telling him how proud I am.
I realize that my son is growing up, which would make me terribly sad, if I wasn’t so pleased that he trusts me enough to share this journey with him. He eagerly awaits my feedback, asking me repeatedly when I think I will be done.
“Do you like it?” he asks.
“I do,” I say, and I mean it. “Your characters crack me up.” We talk about dialogue and fencing scenes and character names, just like I would with any fellow author.
I had no idea the blessings that would come from being a writer.