Even though I am using Camp NaNoWriMo to edit my fantasy novel I do plan on writing a bit in my new dystopia project, which is currently titled The Peacemakers. It is my pleasure to introduce the cast of my new novel (so far):
I was browsing through my Facebook news feed this morning and saw an update from KISW, the rock radio station I usually listen to. They shared an article about a man who used to be in both Nirvana and Soundgarden, turned American hero, then became a college professor. It’s a really great story and one of the best articles I’ve read by the New York Times in a while.
Whenever I start writing a novel or short story I do a little bit of world-building. I usually start with a map and develop names for countries, major cities, bodies of water, and mountain ranges. Then I start plotting them on the map and take a look at what relations they could have with one another.
For example: does country A have a peaceful border with country B, or do they constantly war with one another? Does this river have an affect on this town or this economy?
Then I usually get into style of government, leaders, and brief histories that I can tie into my story.
How much world-building do you do before you write your novel? What types of questions do you ask yourself regarding world-building?
I apologize for my absence. It’s been an eventful week and I have also had a case of not wanting to post anything. I’ll just recap the last few days before I start writing frequently again.
Saturday, March 21
Saturday was the Washington Journalism Education Association state convention and write-off competition. Luckily for my newspaper staff the convention was held at one of the other high schools in my school district this year, so we were able to drive ourselves and sleep in a bit compared to last year. Last year it was held in Shoreline, Washington which is the town directly north of Seattle. Talk about traffic.
When I arrived it was raining extremely hard, which wouldn’t be bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I was carrying about 200 newspapers for two blocks. I was one of the first to arrive (I think only five other schools were there before me) and I set up my staff’s table and newspaper display.
Then I attended my write-off competition for news writing. In 70 minutes I was able to write a 400 word article on the SBA test, which was our required prompt. I was awarded an Honorable Mention, which is the same award I received last year, despite my article being much much better than before.
I’ve had glasses since I was in fourth grade. I’ve been wearing contacts since I was in seventh grade. Yet, for some reason, I have been getting eye infections for the past year. I’m going to see my eye doctor tomorrow (Friday) to get some special eye drops for my left eye just like the last time this happened.
My senior photos came in last week, which is very exciting. That’s all I have to say about that.
I started work on my LAST EVER edition of JagWire last week. The issue doesn’t come until May, but I’m already getting sad about it. JagWire has been my life for three years and now its all coming to an end.
We are going out with a bang by presenting a topic that is rarely touched on by schools: sex-trafficking. It should be a really good issue when it comes out.
It’s been another stressful week, but a very eventful one too. Early this week I received a letter rejecting me as WJEA Journalist of the Year. After receiving that letter I thought that it would be a bad week. I was mistaken.
On Thursday I was announced as one of my school’s “Outstanding 20” seniors that are chosen every year. This is one of the highest honors we can receive because there is no valedictorian or the like. It isn’t just about grades either. It’s about academics, what classes are being taken, what extracurricular we are involved in, and what service we have done for the community. I am very honored to be a part of this extraordinary group of individuals, as strange and different as we may be.
Also on Thursday I found out that I was elected into the Senior Hall of Fame for the yearbook. Me, of all people. I knew that I had been nominated for a few categories, but I never thought that I would make it onto the ballot or be voted into the Hall of Fame. I was chosen for “Most Persistent.”
Today I learned that I am a member of the Honor Roll and I got a fancy little certificate for it.
Now, I look towards tomorrow. The WJEA state journalism convention. I will compete in the News Writing category, where we have to write a news article in 70 minutes based on a presentation we watch that follows correct AP style. I will also listen to key note speakers and attend classes where I can better my skills as a journalist and an editor.
I tried my best and submitted a lengthy portfolio of my work, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I received a letter in the mail today from Washington Journalism Education Association formally rejecting my application for Journalist of the Year.
JagWire issue 15.4, Shattering the Silence on Cutting, was released March 13 amid inner-staff turmoil and intense outside pressure.
To be honest, it felt like reporters and other editors were turning against me at the last moment. They didn’t want the issue to be released for various reasons, although none of their reasons were structured enough for us to pull the plug or make changes. Even if they had been, we didn’t have the time to change anything if we wanted to. Some other editors and reporters even went as far as to blame me for their response towards the issue.
Upon its release the paper met criticism from a few staff members and a few students who didn’t feel like it was an appropriate topic for high school students.
A few of these students, including a JagWire staff member, publicly voiced their opinions in the hallways and in our room, which is not a proper way to share your dislike. The proper route would be to send a Letter to the Editor.
I got really mad at these students because of their outbursts, although I should have just let them go on doing their thing. My temper was tested again this evening when I saw that other students have taken to twitter to trash talk our issue.
The topic was taken seriously by JagWire and research was completed for every article. Trigger warnings and disclaimers about sensitive images were included on the cover and the first page of the FOCUS section. The only article not researched based was a feature on a student that does self-harm, and we chose to tell their story in full. We got a lot of outburst for that. I don’t really understand why. We told the student’s story in full as they told us. We didn’t add any additional information to it and we didn’t change things to make the story one sided.
Teachers showed their support today by stopping by and complimenting us on the issue, including one that was nearly in tears because of how well we had presented the too real problem that occurs at my school.
So, to sum it all up, I’m exhausted from dealing with all of this today.
A lot is going on for the rock music genre in 2015. A few great albums have already been released this year, although to not much success on the commercial side of things. The rock music industry seems to have hit an all time low in sales and support, and that may not change this year.