Learning About Revisions… the Hard Way

Bad kitty!

My seven-year-old is writing her own series of Rainbow Magic books. They’re all at least 10 pages long, with detailed illustrations (and hilarious “Coming Soon!” promos at the end of each one). She puts hours into each one, writing them out, cutting the pages to size (not so successfully), and binding them with the stapler.

And today, one of the cats peed on three of the books.

They’re unsaveable. Even if the marker colors hadn’t bled all over, they smell terrible. I photocopied the pages so she can still have the text that was in pencil, but if she wants them to be even close to the way they were, she’s going to have to recreate them.

Obviously, she was devastated. But then I had a stroke of genius: I taught her about revisions. I told her that all authors have to revise their books, rewriting over and over to make them as good as they can be. Even the authors of the original Rainbow Magic series revised those books before they were published (although that’s hard to believe, if you’ve ever read those).

So now she feels a little better, and she’s looking forward to making newer, better versions of the peed-upon books. But if she’s going to keep up with this series, I’ll eventually have to talk to her about copyright law…

Photo: Courtesy of Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez, Wikimedia Commons



Filed under life, writing

9 responses to “Learning About Revisions… the Hard Way

  1. That’s so awesome. Love that she’s doing it and your lesson. I wrote my own “Choose Your Own Adventure” books as a kid. I quickly realized the importance of plot continuity. ;-)

    • She’s fascinated by the idea of publishing, although she doesn’t quite get why we can’t just bring her books to the library for people to borrow. :)

      Her books even have dedications. I noticed one of them was dedicated to Maggie, Maxie, and Lucy (her fellow Rainbow Magic addicts).

  2. Oh no! If you haven’t already heard it, you might want to listen to a song they play on KidsPlace (Sirius sat radio) quite often. I’m not sure of the title, but my favorite line goes like this:

    “Did you see, did you see where the cat threw up? Better watch what you’re steppin’ in” :-)

  3. This seems like a silly thing to ask but….why is the cat peeing on books? Was he/she mad or something? I have no experience with cats, but that’s not normal behavior, right?

  4. Ahhh. That I understand. :0)

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