Ten Signs You’re Raising Writers
Let’s face it, kids are sponges. They absorb everything, whether you like it or not. And for those of us who live and breathe writing, it seems inevitable that some of our quirks would rub off onto the children in our lives. But how can you tell if you actually have an aspiring writer on your hands? Well, here are a few of the warning signs…
1) Your little one likes to put his own dramatic twist on a well-known story because he knows he can improve upon what’s already been done.
Recently, I gave my kids a quick summary of Romeo and Juliet. When I got to the part where Romeo and Juliet died, my six-year-old enthusiastically chimed in, “And then they came back as zombies?” Meet my son, the horror writer.
2) Your kiddo gets one-third of the way through a movie and already has the plot twist figured out.
My eldest is particularly irritated by the fact that movies don’t surprise him. I’ve lost track of how many times he’s turned to me during a movie, given me a disappointed look, and sighed, “It was that guy.”
3) Stories about their day are told using speech tags.
I was delighted the first time this one occurred because I honestly never expected to hear a six-year-old say, “And then Trey exclaimed…”
4) You find scraps of stories jotted down on every bit of paper lying around—and only some of them are yours.
This is a growing problem in my house. I use a 75-gallon storage trunk for my story notes archive, and it looks like I’m going to have to invest in something similar for the boys. Every time I grab a piece of paper to write down my grocery list, I find character sketches, plot notes, or lines of dialogue jotted down on the back. Oh well, at least they come by it honestly.
5) Your kiddo is completely disgusted with the novel he’s reading because he never would’ve written the scene that way.
There’s nothing more disappointing to a writer than when a favorite author lets him down. It feels like the ultimate betrayal.
6) You notice the child in your life has been reading your professional magazines.
I’m certain that my pre-teen’s interest in each issue of Romance Writers Report has nothing to do with the steamy covers pictured therein. He’s reading them for the articles. Right?
7) Your kiddo is your best brainstorming partner.
I have to give props to my kids on this one. They have awesome imaginations and whenever I’m stuck and need to bounce a couple of ideas off of someone—especially if it involves dreaming up something totally out there—they are my go-to peeps. And often these sessions send them scurrying to write down their own burgeoning ideas.
8) A story just isn’t complete without a setting that pulls you in.
My youngest (the horror writer) loves to thrill us all with his harrowing tales of monster spiders, zombies, and things that go bump in the night. His favorite setting? A dark, dark playground…
9) You overhear your kids using writer lingo.
Irritated with his big brother a couple of months ago, my six-year-old proclaimed, "When I'm a grown-up, all this will be my backstory!"
10) And probably the surest sign—they tell you they want to be writers.
I can’t tell you how my heart swelled when my eldest asked, “Mom, when I grow up can I write romance novels, too?”
Now, will my boys end up becoming writers, or will they just be the guys at the office who tell the best stories? Who knows? Check back in about fifteen to twenty years and I’ll let you know. But if they do end up following in my footsteps, at least I’ll be able to say I saw the signs. J
So how about all of you? Have you “seen the signs” in the kids in your life? Have a few signs of your own to add?
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