Memory Makers

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

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Arroah and her dragon

My nine-year-old granddaughter and I are writing a fantasy book. We started January, 2015 and plan to be finished in March, 2016. The time spent together has added depth and meaning to our relationship while creating a memory-maker for both of us.

This book was her idea, and I knew I was headed for an adventure when she told me about the story.
“I also have a name for the girl. It’s spelled A-r-r-o-a-h but sounds like Arrow.”

She and I are close and much alike. Sometimes stubborn and sometimes drama queens, and that makes for lots of fun. But the process of planning and plotting a book during our face-to-face and online sessions has been priceless.

While allowing her to freely express her ideas about character, plot, setting, and dialogue, I’ve encouraged her imagination to soar. We’ve developed a glossary for our fantasy world using words derived from Celtic, Roman, and Greek mythology. We pour over meanings until just the right one surfaces.

castleNo boxed-in thinking for her.

And she definitely has her own ideas.

I wonder if she realizes how much she knows about the art of writing fiction.

Feedback from her is priceless . . .


  • “Mimi, there’s a question mark at the end of the sentence. So we don’t need the ‘she asked.’”
  • “The scene isn’t what’s in my mind.”
  • “The boy should be good in his heart, not how he looks.”
  • “This can’t be easy for her. She has to work hard.”
  • “We want to show what happened not tell it, right?”
  • “Every chapter has to end a little scary so kids will keep reading.”
  • “That is not a kid-friendly word. Let’s look at your book with the different meanings.” (thesaurus)
  • “You’re right, Mimi. Short chapters are the easiest to read.”

We have a pact: she’s not to reveal the contents to anyone but her parents. No friends. The story will be a surprise. Her friends doubt she’s writing a book, but their observations couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are doing this together. No matter how long it takes.sword-918542_1280

March will be here soon. My granddaughter understands a professional will edit the book, we’ll make changes, then we’ll see what method of publishing.

Did I mention it’s about a little girl who finds a forbidden dragon egg? When the dragon shatters its shell, he persuades the girl to begin a quest.

What about you? What kind of memory-maker can you initiate with a special younger person?

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DEADLOCK by DiAnn Mills - FBI: Houston Book 3