Catching up with 2018 Editor-Writer Mentee Maleeha Siddiqui

From panster to a plotter, writer Maleeha Siddiqui shares some of the knowledge dropped by Editor-Mentor Taylor Norman, during her 2018 Young Adult Fiction Mentorship in The Word's Editor-Writer Mentorship Program.

1) Which fictional mentor did your Editor-Mentor most channel? 

Hmm, I'm struggling with this question. Mentoring under Taylor has been a wholly unique experience for me, and I don't think I can compare her to a specific fictional mentor. She was just too good. Or maybe I'm not cultured enough to answer it haha. 

2) What surprised you about your writing or yourself during your mentorship? 

This mentorship has completely transformed me from a panster to a plotter. I've already started working on my next project and I'm outlining the heck out of it! Apparently, I'm also very good at developing my main character, but need to work on getting his/her thought process across on the page. Readers aren't mind readers!

3) On a long day of writing or querying, what sage advice from your Editor-Mentor will be floating around in your mind? 

Taylor's full of wisdom, but here is the one that will stick out to me: What is the story's Big Question? Remember to keep that at the forefront of your mind (or on a sticky note on your desk!) when writing. It's easy to go off track, and having that in mind will steer you back on course. Also, take a nap :) It's perfectly okay to take a break or walk away from a particular project if you aren't ready to tackle it.

4) Will you share with us what you've been working on? Give us your one-line pitch of your manuscript. 

When childhood sweethearts Varisha Feroz and Rayan Ismail decide to get married in their senior year of high school, they find themselves facing cultural prejudice inside and outside of the Muslim community while also just trying to be normal teenagers getting into college. 

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