Critiquing nine-year-old me

I’m going through essays, stories, and college term papers I wrote years ago, trying to figure out which ones I should keep and which ones I should toss.

My juvenile attempt at writing flash fiction is posted below. The story probably was my first graded creative writing assignment. I was nine years old and in the fourth grade. I thought I had written a great story. I was so disappointed when the teacher returned it to me with a grade of 70 penned in red ink at the bottom of the paper. However, in hindsight, I can understand the reason for my low grade.

Why My Cat Doesn’t Like Snow

I have a cat. Her name is tippy. tippy dossn’t like snow. one day Tippy was one her Homemade leash, and the rover [neighbor’s dog] was on his leash. tippy’s leash was made with string and two ice skate starps. Tippy went along just rigt for a minute. Then she went head over heels into a snow pile. She got out dripping wet becuse ther was sulsh on the outher side of the pile. From that time on, tippy does not like snow.

Although this is a very short story, the text should have been broken into a few paragraphs. And I guess I was daydreaming during spelling lessons. I also seem to have had problems with apostrophes and capitalization.

This story has a weak plot. Actually, it has no plot (hey, I was nine years old). Maybe I should have given a little more thought to the story line. For example: Rover chases Tippy up a tree. Afraid to climb down, the cat holes up in the tree for hours. I call the fire department to come rescue Tippy.

As the story stands now, Rover is a distraction. He’s simply a “walk-on,” and his presence doesn’t add anything to the work. His role should have been cut.

Finally, Tippy, as portrayed in the story is sort of an, um, imposter. I actually did have a cat named Tippy. And Tippy actually was a male cat. As a child, I led a sheltered life. I hadn’t a clue as to how to tell a Mom Cat from a Tom Cat.

[Note: Yes, this story definitely is fiction. Tippy had a nasty attitude. There is no way anyone could have put a leash on that cat.]

About WestWordArizona

Writer, editor, originally from Berkshire County, Massachusetts, now living in North San Diego County, California.
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