My seven-year-old daughter had been waiting and waiting and WAITING to read the draft of my second MARTY MCGUIRE chapter book, so a few weeks ago, I printed it out for her.  She settled in next to the fireplace with the big folder of papers, and I started making dinner. Pretty soon, she appeared in the kitchen.

"Do you have a pen I can use?"

"For what?" I asked her.

"I just want to make some notes on here for you, okay?"

I gave her the pen…and the next day got back a manuscript that looked like this.

And the best part?   When I asked her what the E was for, she said, "You know, so you know those corrections are from me and not the person at Scholastic."  

I don’t save all the printed drafts of my books. But this is one I’ll be holding onto for a long, long time.

64 Replies on “Editor-in-Training

  1. Aw, this is so sweet. And E’s so smart! I definitely think she’s earned a place on the acknowledgments page. If they have one for your book, that is. Otherwise, this page is definitely a frameable keeper.

  2. Hmm…I don’t think her feelings will be hurt, but she’ll probably demand an explanation.

    By the way, I know I left a comment on your LJ when you announced the news, but I have to say that your cupcake book sounds absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to read it!

  3. Does her name really begin with an “E,” as in E is for EDITOR? ;>

    This child is brilliant! She gave you great ideas, couched in the words “I think…” She is the perfect editor. A shadow, a hand, a guide but not a maniacal my-way or the highway type!


  4. I keep the drafts my daughters mark up for me. I tell them to squiggly underline things they don’t understand, and to indicate if they’re getting bored, or whatever.

    They are usually my first readers, and since they read A LOT, they are pretty good.

  5. Also, now they sometimes read my friends’ drafts. Two of my daughters are thanked on the acknowledgment page of Janni Lee Simner’s upcoming YA, Bones of Faerie.

  6. Thats adorable. I have a 6 year old daughter that I can imagine would do the same thing to me if I still wrote. She asked for a diary for her birthday which was a few days ago and has carried that thing around with her from the time she gets home from school till the time she goes back to school the next morning since she got it.

  7. You’re so lucky your daughter wants to read your stuff. I’m dying for mine to give me some feedback on the book I’m working on and she just isn’t interested. Cause I’m Mom The Boring.

  8. Ah…your daughter is older and resembles my 12-year-old son, who has yet to read the MG novel I have coming out this fall since he’s proclaimed it “a girl book.”

  9. Soon! Really soon! All my first pass revision notes are done and on the manuscript, and I just need to get them done on the computer. I was actually going to finish this week until I found out I have two weeks to write the study guide for my GIANNA Z book with Walker so that it can be included in the ARC. But soon!! (and thanks!!)

  10. That’s priceless, Kate. When my kiddos were little, they would edit my stories. My son wrote crossed out the main character’s name and wrote his own all over the page. I don’t think I have it anymore … sigh.
    Vijaya (from the blueboards)