Angel is an eleventh-grade scholar at AF Amistad High who dreams of becoming a manga artist and author. This summer, completed an intro to playwriting course, where he learned a few lessons about writing and life. We spoke with Angel to learn a little more about him and his passion. Read on below.
Tell me about yourself. What is your favorite school subject and why, what are your favorite hobbies?
I love watching anime and reading manga. My best friend recommended these to me because he knows how much I love getting lost in stories and seeing characters develop and grow. I love seeing stories come to life through animation and graphics. Anime and manga is a career field I’d like to pursue in the future.
I’ve been at Achievement First my entire school career dating back to kindergarten. I really enjoy the subject of literature because of the interesting books I’ve been introduced to in my classes — books like Fahrenheit 451. Those are good examples of the great literature and immersive stories I’ve read so far.
That’s awesome! You recently completed a summer course in playwriting to help become a better writer. Can you tell us about that?
Yes, I took an introductory course in scriptwriting at Choate Rosemary Hall as part of my summer programming with Achievement First. At first I wasn’t sure if my interest in manga was too specific for Achievement First to find a course that would be a good fit for me, but this one sounded really interesting and fun. Through the course I learned to be confident sharing my work with others and getting constructive feedback. It’s a good lesson not only for writing, but also for life and school. If you’re ever going to understand what you’re doing well in or what you need to improve, you need to have other people give you feedback. I’m going to have an audience when I write my own story one day, so why not make my work better by previewing it to others before I make it public.
Was it challenging for you to share your work at first?
Definitely! I thought it would be embarrassing. I wasn’t sure anyone would like my work. There was one point when I passed on the chance to let others read my work. But, when I saw others share and when I read their work, it inspired me to be courageous and share mine with everyone. I’m glad I did. Not only did I learn about myself, but I also learned about others, their imaginations, and their ideas. I really love collaborating because it brings me new ideas.
What was it like when you started sharing your drafts with the class?
It eventually became something I looked forward to doing. I got to see my work come to life. I got to hear great feedback from my peers. I get to understand if my story is going in the right direction and if it doesn’t go well — like if it’s lacking direction — that’s also a good thing. I’ve learned to enjoy that process because now I know what to work on. Through the feedback, I know what’s going well and what I need to improve. I hope others learn to welcome and ask for feedback. It’s definitely a line worth crossing for the sake of your work or product.
What did you learn about yourself throughout this course?
I learned that I worry too much about getting the script done on time instead of having fun with it. When you’re writing, you have to make sure you’re having fun with it and that you feel proud of what you’re writing. Because when you’re not, it’s likely your story or work will go in the wrong direction. You have to have the time, right mood, and patience to write something great. And, that’s how I learned that patience, passion, and confidence are the three big factors to writing a good story. That is something that connects to having the guts to share, because when I share I gain so much more than I could on my own.