The time between March 2018 (when I entered TeenPit) and present day (leading up to the Pitch Wars showcase) has taught me a lot about writing and my individual writing process. I thought it’d be fun to do some reflection and share some of what I’ve learned.
- The publishing process….is strangely similar to the college admissions process
It’s probable that I only think this because I just finished applying to college and am now waiting to hear back from a lot of them. But with both publishing and applying to college, you put yourself into what you’re submitting. I pour hours into my writing/revisions and I poured hours into my college apps. Then there’s submitting everything. In publishing, the first step is querying agents. In the college admissions process, you submit your college apps. And at the end of the day, for both, you’re just hoping that that person reading (whether agent or admissions officer) likes your work enough to say yes!!
2. Not only do I have crutch words, but I have crutch phrases
I overuse “just” and “like,” which isn’t super uncommon in terms of crutch words that get weeded out during revisions. But through my mentor’s notes, I’ve learned that I overuse the phrase “drum my fingers” SO much. At least twice per chapters, there’s a character who’s drumming her fingers against a desk, or car door, or a leg. I have no idea why the phrase pops up so much, but it does. There are a few other phrases that I overuse, but “drum my fingers” definitely appears the most.
3. Where are the antagonists?
For me personally, as a high schooler, not many people have archnemeses or hardcore antagonists. Sure, there may be people that they dislike, but that isn’t enough to make someone an antagonist. For me, the things I’m fighting against are more situational and are less connected to a specific person. But through working with my mentor, I realized that none of my POV characters had a direct antagonist. A large part of my revisons was putting a face to the situational problems that the characters were going through. Putting a face to the problem is a big thing I’ve learned, and I think knowing this will help so much with future projects.
4. I’m a handwriter, but editing on a phone helps
I’ve tried, and failed, countless times to write or revise using a computer. The words don’t come as fast, and I always end up getting stuck looking at a screen. My PW project and its five drafts have taken up 8 or 9 70-page spiral notebooks alone. But I found that doing nit-picky line edits on the Google Doc app on my phone works wonders, especially when it comes to looking for typos. Usually, I do line edits on my laptop, but there was a day when it was being stubborn. I think using my phone helped because the screen is a lot smaller than a laptop screen, so it’s easier to focus and comb through a smaller section of text. It’s something that I didn’t really expect to work, but now that I know it does I’m definitely going to do all my comb-throughs for typos and nitpicky things on my phone.
Those are just four of the things that I’ve learned about writing and my writing process so far, and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn more in the future!
Happy reading, happy writing, and happy blogging!