I know every mother thinks her kid is a genius, but mine really is.
Well, at least at writing stories.
If you’re writing a novel or taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, you might find some inspiration in my 7-year-old son’s most recent work of fiction, “The Transformer’s Battle.” He spent the last two days sitting at the computer typing this story by himself. Now that’s tenacity!
I haven’t touched the spelling or wording at all, but I’ve done a few format tweaks for the sake of readability (capitals, spacing, italics, and quotation marks). Other than that, this is first draft material.
Here’s the gripping drama in all its glory, followed by some writing tips we can all glean from it:
The Transformer’s Battle
by Micah, October 2009
Long, long ago, in 1332, there was a child who had a big imagination. Every night he had a dream. Once he dreamt of transformers coming to life.
One bright and sunny morning the child heard a bristle in the trees. He looked out his bedroom window to see what was happening but he coud’nt see anything so he got back into bed but while he was in bed he heard a noise. It sounded like they were coming to his house.
By about 3 minutes later, the child noticed that his dream about transformers coming to life had came true! They had all gathered around his house and they were singing! They were singing this song: We are transformers, we want our food. We want our breakfast, lunch and tea. And they kept reapeating that and it was so annoying!
The child’s father had become very, very angry with the transformers and so he thought of a plan to get rid of them. He said to his wife “ we should start a war, that would destroy them all. His wife said “Yes, but we can’t fight 1500 transformers in one day.”
But the child’s father said “Trust me, just ask my son to dream about it tonight and it will come true. Then it won’t take us a day. It will only take 27 minutes. I’m sure it will work out in a good way. Except you might want to bring your earplugs.” His wife asked him why she needed to bring her earplugs. The child’s father said “ just to be civilised”.
“Just to be what-what-what?”
“CIVILISED! CIVILISED! CIVILISED!”
“SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! your going to wake up Fluffy the cat!”
And sure enough, Fluffy was skipping down the hallway and puring. The child’s sister was riding on Fluffy. She had taken the child’s toy shield and sword and she was practicing for the coming battle. Fluffy was just about to jump onto the sofa when he saw a toy mouse running down the hallway so he went racing after it.
It was 8:30 pm so Fluffy and the children all went to bed. The child dreamt about the next day. The next day was the day of the battle. While the child was in bed, he heard a noise. BANG! BANG! BANG! CLASH! BOOM! CRASH! BANG!
The transformers had been training.
The next day, it was the battle. Before the battle had begun, the family practiced. First, they practiced punching dummies. Second,they practiced sword fighting. Third, they practiced kung fu. Then finally, fourth, they practiced there moves. They were now ready for the battle.
The battle had just begun. There were 565465 665 65667 7654 56777765 678 78756 5674 560 transformers in the battle versing 4 people.
When the family’s friends came along to join in with the battle there were 99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
The people destroyed the transformers.
If you’ve ever read my About page, you’ll know ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’ I, too, started writing at a very young age.
I may be ever-so-slightly biased, but here are some of the immediate writing gems I took from reading my son’s story:
- Improve your writing habits. My son worked quickly on this story, typing it key by key, one finger at a time, over just 2 days. Unlike adult writers, he didn’t stop to critique himself along the way; he went with what felt right at the time.
- Make sure your characters face conflict. The characters in this story face an army of transformers–a terrifying thought for a child.
- Don’t forget story structure. The beginning of “The Transformer’s Battle” sets up the problem, the middle shows the characters preparing for attack, and the ending shows them defeat their enemies.
- Inject some comic relief. Fluffy the cat? The bit with the earplugs? Priceless! Remember to keep your story entertaining.
- Give it a fantastic title. It’s nothing fancy, but “The Transformer’s Battle” is straight and to the point. The reader knows exactly what this story will be about.
- Up the stakes at the story’s midpoint. We learn in ch. 5, “The Transformers had been training.” Our characters now know what they are up against–an army of robots who are ready for battle.
- Ensure your characters have a plan of action. We learn that “the child’s father had become very, very angry with the transformers and so he thought of a plan to get rid of them.” Then, we discover how they plan to achieve their goals. Ch.6 shows our characters training to fight in the battle.
- Use cliffhangers to build suspense. The last few chapters of this story leave the reader wondering what will happen next. Always great to keep them guessing.
- Bring your story to a logical conclusion. Good triumphs over evil in “The Transformer’s Battle,” because the family enlists the help of their friends to overcome their enemies.
- Use believable dialogue. I’m positive at some point my son must have witnessed a conversation between my husband and me regarding earplugs being civilized. In a child’s mind (and maybe in reality), parents are always arguing over petty things.
As far as I’m concerned, this is a pretty solid story, and I’m so proud of my son for how hard he worked on it.
If you have any words of encouragement for this budding writer, please leave a comment.
And keep an eye out for his name on the bestseller’s list (in about 20 years…)!
Join the discussion
Jeffrey Tang says
As I read "The Transformer's Battle," I can't help but wonder what real-life experiences Micah drew from while writing. It's wonderful how children lack the guile to distance themselves from their writing – that's a lesson we can all learn.
Micah, if you're reading this, keep writing! And keep noticing all the funny, dramatic, quirky, wonderful things in life … that's where great writing comes from.
I was also wondering where he got some of this stuff, especially the bit about earplugs being civilized! I just couldn't believe that a kid his age would be motivated to spend so much time working on a story. I don't think he watched tv, went outside or even played with his toys much over those two days. He just wanted to write. It's quite inspiring!
As I read your comment to Micah, a huge smile spread across his face. He's such a little ham 🙂 Thanks!
Move over Stephen King.
Bravo Micah! Keep writing. I loved Fluffy the cat. I'm looking for an autographed copy of your first book in 20 years or so.
Yes, it does have a sort of Stephen King-esque ring to it, doesn't it? I love Fluffy the cat, as well. He's just totally random fun. Thanks 🙂
My first visit to your blog and what a thrilling read. Thanks for letting your mom share that with her readers. You spell beautifully! And your writing is great – suspensful, fun, and exciting. I hope you get loads of enjoyment from writing.
Glad you've enjoyed your first visit here! I read your comment to my boy and he was very excited by your encouragement. And yes, he does a great job with his spelling. He was tested at school, and it turns out he spells about 3 years ahead of his age. Thank you!
What a great story! As an elementary teacher, you can believe that I read dozens of stories written by children every couple of weeks. One other gem about writing that I found in this story was the use of specific details. For example, using those exact numbers is part of what makes the writing fresh and funny, like the father telling the mother it would only take "27 minutes." Why 27? I love it.
This story had every element of great writing that I teach my students, who are ten years old! Keep up the excellent work, Micah!
Micah is delighted with your comment on his story. You're right about the specific details. He's very specific (about everything in life!) Thanks for your words of encouragement 🙂
Great work Micah! I only came across this site because I typed in "7 year old writes her first novel". I wanted to see if there was anyone else out there like my daughter. She has been working on her first novel since October and is almost finished. She's at word 5,558 and just finished Chapter 10. Thank goodness for Microsoft word for calculating the word count! She's setting it up like a young reader's chapter book and has included about 8 illustrations and is on page 64. Besides writing she loves to draw. We're very proud of her and told her that we would have it printed and she could send it to family and friends for Christmas presents. To all young writers and artists —- keep imagining and drawing!
Thanks for sharing this story about your daughter. It sounds amazing! Sometimes I think we really don't give these little people enough credit in life 🙂
Glad you found this, and please tell your daughter to keep up the great work.
Shiri will write says
I must say, this is a brilliant piece of work, and his spelling is exceptional. It’s those randomly exact details that add humor; this talent seems annoyingly to fade with age.
Micah: Keep writing, keeping dreaming, keep being you. As a seventh grader who has a novel-in-progress, I had been rather full of myself. You’ve brought me back down to earth! Best wishes for your future as a writer! ~Shiri
For DBZ fans, look at the number in Chapter 8. It’s over 9000!!!!!!!