I've been reading a lot of sixth grade fiction-in-progress lately. At this stage, I try to keep my comments to these ernest young writers encouraging; we can fix grammar, spelling, and even minor plot inconsistencies in the second drafts. The other day, though, when I read through a tale about two brothers fighting a harrowing war in some dystopic future who are exchanging letters with their parents at home, I couldn't keep silent:Dear Max,
Try to keep Alex up and working, if we lose this war we could all be destroyed. We are doing fine except we are very worried. We hope it will end soon. Do your best to survive, and take care of yourself and Alex.
"Hey guys?" I called over to the co-authors. "I'm pretty sure their mother would sign her letter 'Love'!"