This is a draft of a college essay I've been working on, any and all feedback will be appreciated.
I spent the last few summers on a spaceship I built in the seventh grade. I used to build them out of Legos, but this time it was for real; I built The Steel Wing, out of words. What I was actually doing was writing my first real book. I was done with corny fan-fictions and Eragon analogues. “The Last Hunter,” in its first draft, was 21,126 words long, and I loved every single one. Flagrant breaches in the laws of physics and two-dimensional characters aside, it was my first book. I thought it was ready to hit the bestsellers list right then and there. Of course, a 12-year-old’s mind is attuned to instant success and fame.
I have been working on “The Last Hunter,” and its sequel, for the past four summers, revising, rewriting, re-everything. The most recent draft is somewhere around 99,547 words and reaches far beyond the goofy first draft. I love writing the story again and again finding new, better words, and building stronger characters, scenes and thoughts. Though it can look like a jumbled mess of finger paintings, it has grown as much as I have.
I’ve learned about myself and the world around me by writing.
It’s better to show characters than to talk about them.
Not all people are rational, thoughtful, or even sane.
Dialogue must be strong to make strong characters.
Being “against war” means much more than saying so.
Adverbs describing speech are unnecessarily silly.
I’ve learned that what you write is more important than how much you write.
It’s fun to look back on Draft 1 and compare it to Draft 4, to see how characters have changed, how I have amended thematic gaps, and how much better it is. I don’t claim to be worthy of rubbing shoulders with John Irving, or even sharing a shelf in a bookstore with him, but I have worked hard and seen myself and my writing grow to something I care about, enough so that I keep doing it.
Writing, to me, and I hope I’m not the only one on the planet who thinks this, is a safe haven from the rest of the world. I’m not afraid of guns, of hate, or of evil when writing. So saying that I spend my summers in a spaceship, somewhere far away from everything else, may not be so crazy.