6-Year-Olds Make Terrible Editors

One of my favorite things in the world is reading with my daughter. We recently started writing together, too. And it’s been pretty awesome.

I love the 1-on-1 time and she comes up with some amazing characters. Nothing will drive your imagination further than letting a kid take the wheel. 

Because she’s 6, we have a lot of princess stories. But the rule is, we need to make up new ones. No Cinderella. No Elsa. No Merida (even though she’s a total badass).

No—any princess we write about has to be created from scratch.

And there’s no way I could ever come up with the nonsensical names this girl creates.  We’ve got:

  • Mr. Washington Monument – A living slab of concrete who runs the Royal Zoo.
  • Dreida – The princess’s favorite Fairy Whale
  • Crusher Bones – Our villain
  • Smoodle – One of Crusher’s henchmen
  • The Octopooper – Nobody’s quite sure what he does

They’re whimsy, silly and perfect. And that’s just from our current story. The list is endless.

I could go into an attack of the portrayal of weak women needing a man to rescue them—but she’s 6. And this isn’t that kind of post. Besides, I think the last few Disney movies have solidly addressed that issue.

…Here’s the thing though.

The girl is destroying my story lines.

I love her, but every time we start getting somewhere, she wants to add a new character. Usually a fairy. Sometimes an animal. Often a fruit. And we pivot. Now, I’m all for character development. But I’m trying to tell a story here! Someone’s got to teach this kid about structure. But no. All she wants to do is make an entire magical kingdom of fluffy characters and their friends.

Uggh. It’s like writing for a 5-year-old.

You’re better than that, kid. You’re this many now!



Have you not learned anything from Dahl, Seuss & Gaiman yet? C’mon!

…Luckily, she’s cute.

I’ve secretly started editing some of our stories after she falls asleep. She gets mad when she notices, but I think she’ll love me for it when she’s older.

*Drops $15 in the “Therapy Money” jar*

Maybe we’ll try again tomorrow night.


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