It looks like my computer time from here on out will be limited: we have an 8 year-old author in the house.
After years of avoiding even the slightest whiff of writing, Luke has started a book. On the computer. Because I suggested it!
I think that what this means is, he has mostly gotten "school" out of his system - he had to take a long break from any writing except of the briefest kind, like holiday and birthday wish lists or notes to his favorite Harry Potter characters.
The book itself, "The Defeat of Chairman Drek," all one page of it so far, is a corker, which I think can be expected from a child who has spent years absorbing the conventions of writing through reading. Luke's dialogue exchanges, settings, plot and characters - taken from a video game (of course) - are pretty good, kind of stoic and adventuresome and read like, well, a real book. He has figured out a way to be as eloquent on paper as he is verbally, and seeing how he structures his writing is like looking at how his mind works from another angle.
We do have some confusing exchanges, though, with questions such as, 'Mom, where's the little two dots thing that you use?' or 'I can't find the thing that separates the ideas but keeps the same sentence.' Or, 'where's the two lines that mean somebody is talking?'
The one frustration I've felt is over Luke's inability to let something be misspelled, even for a few minutes. He hates inventive spelling, and just can't abide those little red lines underneath the words - and I can't figure out how to shut off the spell-checker so that he can write in peace! He loses thoughts and phrases while trying to figure out how to spell, rather than letting this be a 'draft' and sorting out the spelling later. My heart goes out to him, my young perfectionist.
For the most part, though, it's kind of cool having a young writer in the house, and his ideas and enthusiasm amaze me.
Even though I don't have the computer to myself anymore.