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9.1.03 New talent

Talk about new talent. My 13 y.o. nephew Sam finally connected up via AOL Instant Messenger. We chatted about a story he's writing, then he sent me a couple of chapters. I was really blown away by how sophisticated his writing is. I know that part of my problem is that I'm still thinking of him as a little kid and not (oh, my God) a teenager. Aside from that, I can see he has a knack for realistic dialogue -- a good ear for conversation -- and the ability to build tension and conflict in a scene.

Of course I bombarded him with "helpful" advice. I hope he doesn't pay too much attention and get too self-conscious. Better just to write, write, write, then start paying attention to "craft" when he's ready.

What ruined me as a young writer was my sudden conclusion that I'd gone about it ALL WRONG. No one actually told me that. I decided it all on my own at age 14. Maybe bouts of dreadful self-consciousness are inevitable at that age. Too bad.

Chatting with Sam made me remember the collaborative story I wrote with my niece when she was 11. We'd take turns writing chapters. It was lots of fun and turned out to be a good mystery story. I dug out the disk. It was in an ancient version of Wordperfect so I'm spending some time fixing the formating. It's worth preserving. It might be fun to post it.

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