Write Before Thinking


Short stories written by a 9 year-old, with edits and comments from his 30 year-old self

Short Stories

by Pat Cowan

Interesting title. You leave yourself open to many options.



     As we headed out of the homefront I thought about the events that would take place. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN? I recorded and made a book of those events that you are going to read. I hope you enjoy this reading experience.

As a rule, try to avoid forwards or prologues, they often are unnecessary. But, no one’s perfect the first time! I like how you attempt to draw the reader in. Seems mysterious. Just watch switching between past and present tenses.

Forward March!

      My brother Greg and I were bored and driving our parents “nuts” DON’T NEED QUOTES when my mom finanally(SP) said “Why don’t you do something with yourselves.” So we did. We went and had a friendly date with a couple of puddles. We played army and marched through a couple of puddles and got drenched by the rain and got wet by the puddles. REWORD When we came in our socks were brown and our pants weren’t very white any more then we took off our clothes and had a cup of hot chocolate and got cozy.

Sounds like a messy good time, though these seem more like flash fiction than short stories. Watch overusing the word “and.” Also, you may want to clarify the last sentence. But not bad for a 9 year-old.


Night Time

     “It was a dark and stormy night,” thats how many stories begin. Thats (THAT’S) true about this one. We were drinkin hot chocolate and readin our books to stay out of trouble. We went outside for awile(SP) to look at stars and “mellow out.” (DITCH THE QUOTES) Then that phrase that practicly all kids hate came up, “Kids time to go to bed.” So reluctantly my brother and I went to bed but before we got in we checked the bed for mice and didn’t find any. We had a long, cold, nice sleep. (HAH!)

You make good use of a strong, if cliched, intro. I’m not sure if you intended to leave the “g’s” off of “drinking” and “reading” but in the future, if you do that make sure you put an apostrophe after the last letter. Also, the word “that’s” is a contraction. Good job twisting the last sentence into something unexpected. Was that intentional?

A Creek Named After Two Boys 

My parents, brother, and I decided to go for a walk down throug (SP) the Meje Claim back up the Hill of Death and to the cabin. (REWORD THIS SENTENCE) On our way we came upon a creek that was full of moss and colder than a son of a gun. After a long debate of a name we finnaly named it P & G Creek a logical name since we found it. After we had our fun there we walked back up with tired legs and wonderful memeries (SP).

You need to develop stronger story arcs and watch your sentence structure. You seem to be holding back. Or are you just being lazy! (ha ha).


A Tale of Two Creatures

My dad had a nice experience with a mouse. Steve (my dad) woke up when he heard my mom scream, appently (SP) it wasn’t a very loud scream fore (FOR) my brother and I couldn’t hear it. Anyways back to the storie (SP) Steve saved the day by taking the mouse and throwing it out the screen door or thats what he thought. The mouse decided to stay awile so it bounced off the screen door back at Steve. THIS SENTENCE IS A MESS. Must of liked him!

You haven’t shown these to anyone, have you?


 Rolo Is a Whole Lot of Smiles

I had been begging my mom for days to get me some black & wite (SP) film to use for my camera. She finnaly (SP) said “OK.” So she and Steve walked down to Lead. When she came up she had got me a candy bar and my film, boy she sure made me happy. She got up just in time because there was a horrible rain strom. Talk about luck!

 Did you just  pick words at random or did this actually involve thinking? WORK ON YOUR CRAFT! 


Lost Over the Wild Blue Yonder

My brother and I were kinda bored so we decided to go down to P & G Creek. We made it down alright, took a few pictures, explorded (SP) the stream and tried to get back up. It wasn’t very easy but we made it, after Steve and mom found us.

Seriously, you’re only nine, right? Because if you’re older you need to tell your parents you think you have a learning disability.


Gentlemen Start Your Hammocks

Greg and I were lying in the hammock when we came up with a craz (LEARN TO SPELL) idea…to pretend we’re racing cars going on the turns (WHAT?). So there we were swingin like monkeys and laughing like a couple of baboons. Flipen off the hammock and rollin on the ground. (THIS ISN’T EVEN A SENTENCE) As some would say “this is the life,” almost.

First off, sorry for the previous comments, but you know that we’re your harshest critic. That being said, I’m glad these were so short.

Pat, I know that you want to be a writer, but you may want to explore other careers. Some people have it and some people don’t. At the moment it appears that you don’t. However, should you not be dissuaded by my critique I encourage you to study and perfect your craft. Remember, before you can break the rules you must know them. Until you have your writing dialed in, I’d appreciate it if you would continue to go by “Pat” rather than “Patrick”. I think that it’s wise to distance ourselves from each other to ensure our reputations remain (in my case) unblemished.

Keep up the good work and don’t get discouraged! Wanting to write is often better than being able to write! 



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