A blog of writing, journalism, and creative craft from a young writer in the Pacific Northwest
Author: Chase Charaba
Hello there! I'm Chase, an ambitious, aspiring young novelist and YouTuber who hopes to get a novel published one day. I'm also trying to produce the highest quality YouTube videos by constantly learning new ways to film and edit.
I've been involved in journalism for 5 years, including 1 year as co-editor of a national award-winning high school newsmagazine and 1 year as the co-editor of an award-winning college newspaper.
I write mainly epic/high fantasy, but I also mess around with science fiction, horror, and realistic fiction.
Last week I purchased a new GoPro Hero5 Black to replace our GoPro Hero4 Silver. Within the first week of having this camera I took it snowshoeing (in June!) at Mount Rainier National Park to record some test footage.
The camera is much easier to use than the Hero4 and the picture quality is a lot better. Because the Hero5 is waterproof without a case, the audio quality was much better because the microphones are exposed.
This makes the GoPro Hero5 Black a great contender for vlogging cameras. Just look at Sawyer Hartman’s Australia footage with the Hero5 Black. It’s amazing.
You can watch my full unboxing video below. I can’t wait to use it in 4k on my next adventure!
It’s been six months since my last post. I didn’t know if I was ever coming back. I had debated whether or not to just make YouTube videos and to leave blogging behind.
I’ve done a lot of thinking recently. Between cramming for my calculus II final on Thursday and finishing out my last week at the school newspaper, I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. Am I on the right path? Have I set myself up for success? Have I made a terrible mistake?
While I continue to work to solve these problems, I’ve realized that I need to do more to create my brand. If I’m serious about making YouTube a priority and publishing novels in the future, I need to start creating a brand that my followers and supports can rally behind. I need to get myself out there into the growing world of social media, but I also need to look back at where I started.
This blog came first.
Before I was on YouTube making video blogs, or vlogs, about my life, before I had a Twitter account or built a following around my photography on Instagram, I had WordPress. I had this blog to showcase myself to the world. Now blogging has taken a backseat on my adventure.
It’s been six months since my last post. I didn’t know if I was ever coming back. I had debated whether or not to just make YouTube videos and to leave blogging behind. I even created a brand new website at https://chasecharaba.wixsite.com/chasecharaba. I still don’t know what I should do. I’ve had this blog for a long time, but it’s lost its purpose. I started it to promote myself as an author, not as a YouTuber.
Even though I’ve been thinking lately about the future of this blog, I’m uncertain. Wix is a better website to host my content on and it would be a clean slate, but I’ve already built a foundation here with all of you.
I’ll be drafting some proper blog posts for this month as I try to get back into the swing of things this year. For now, I wanted to leave you with a link to my first video of 2017, which I published on my YouTube channel at 11 a.m. Pacific.
I spent a few hours on New Years Eve snowshoeing at Mount Rainier National Park. It ended up being a sunny day with clear, blue skies and full visibility of the mountain and other peaks. It was between 15 and 20 degrees up there, but it was still nice.
I tried a few new things with this video. I used some new transitions that I downloaded for Premiere Pro, and I actually did some color grading on my cinematic shots. It didn’t turn out like I wanted it to, but I’m alright with it because it’s still better than the stuff I was publishing for much of last year.
Giving it a like would mean the world to me.
Until my next post, I hope you have a great New Years Day! What did you do to celebrate? Let me know in the comments.
It’s been an interesting year with elections, celebrity deaths, and terrible disasters. But, it wasn’t all bad. I decided to make a video with the highlights of my 2016, sharing some of the adventures I’ve been on and some of the places that I’ve been privileged to visit this year.
I hope you all enjoy this montage. Be sure to like it on YouTube and comment with your favorite part. I’d love to see more of you over there.
Thank you for everything this year. Here’s to an even better 2017.
It’s only day 2 of working on this novel, and I’m already excited for what’s to come.
I’ve written the first 3,500 words, and I’ve explored some very interesting areas that I wouldn’t normally explore in my writing. For one, this is an urban fantasy of sorts. I HATE
writing about our modern world. I prefer to write epic/high fantasy so that I can create a world from scratch and really introduce readers into my full imagination. So, for me to be excited about writing an urban fantasy is really something.
Second, chapter one jumps right into the action. I always include action in my first chapter, but I usually spend a little time working on setting and showing my characters’ lives beforehand. With this one, the chapter includes the discovery that will launch the plot, just so that readers can get a taste of what they’re in for.
Third, I only made a 1 page outline. I usually outline and world build for much longer, and I think that’s partly why the fun has been sucked out of writing for me. This novel has an end goal, and I have enough notes to drive the story forward, but I’m just going to let myself and write and come up with things as I go.
I’m just trying new things that I’ve never done before, and we’ll see where it goes.
As part of my excitement, I decided to make some graphics for the novel, just to really sell it to myself. They aren’t professional, they’re just something I whipped up in Photoshop using my own star/mountain photos and stuff. If I were to actually sell this novel, I’d spend more time making a cover that fits the story better, but for now it’s all about having fun.
Here I am, minding my own business by watching movies, listening to good music, and rewatching Sons of Anarchy over my winter break from college, when I feel that urge to write.
Whoa. Stop right there. Write? I never write during winter break. Winter break is for doing nothing productive so that I can rest before doing another three months straight of college.
This was a new writing urge, however. I didn’t want to start working on my Egethor series again, which is the series that I’ve been working on for many years now. I wanted to write something different, some removed from the series and even the epic fantasy genre.
I wanted to try my hand at a novel that fits somewhere in the realm of dark urban fantasy, somewhere in the realm of superheroes, and somewhere in the realm of science fiction. Can these three genres be mixed? I dunno, but that’s what’s happening with this new project of mine.
It’s an old project really, one that I tried to write in 2014 and early 2015 before giving up on it. However, I was hit with a new idea and I ran with it, outlining the beginning of a new novel. When I finished jotting down the idea, I realized that the idea fit perfectly with what I had envisioned for my Eskaden series, but it would take it in a whole new direction. This new direction would fix the problems that I encountered in my original draft, which had caused me to stop writing it. There’s new life in the story, and I’m really excited to see where this goes.
I’m currently 1,700 words in, and I’ve already explored areas that my original draft did not. Let’s just hope that I make it past the original draft’s 18,000 words.
I went to Washington, D.C. last week for the Associated College Press National College Media Convention.
Throughout the week I’ll be posting about each of the five days that I was there along with a video of my trip.
I hope you enjoy!
I arrived in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m. EST. It wasn’t a terribly long flight, but the 3 hour time change and the extreme humidity threw me off.
We took an airport shuttle to the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Washington, where we checked into our rooms after sorting out some booking issues. From there we had a late night dinner in the Chinatown district and stayed up until 3 a.m.
A few things about D.C. immediately came to my attention. It definitely had that House of Cards vibe, and people who walk the streets at night are scary. Also, people drive terribly there.
From September 30 to October 1 I attended the College Media Summit on Diversity & Inclusion at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
I went as a small delegation from my campus newspaper. We made the 4.5 hour drive down from Washington to attend workshops and to listen to speakers about what college media can do to be more diverse and inclusive and to better represent the people we serve.
It was a very interesting event and I’m glad that I was able to be there. Below I have included the video I made during the event. Please check it out and leave a like and a comment if you enjoyed it or want to know more about this awesome event.
When I learned that NBC was to cancel Grimm after its sixth season I’ll admit that I got upset. Yeah, Grimm’s being canceled.
Grimm is one of my favorite shows (and the only one I watch on NBC) and that’s because it was constantly interesting and not afraid to be different from the sameness of the dozens of police and hospital dramas. While still based around police, the show was interesting because of its fantasy elements that combined horror, drama, and comedy.
I was so excited to watch the show when it first aired, intrigued by how different it was. After all of these years it has continued to entertain fans. Beyond that, the show had inspired me to write a supernatural novel. Although I only wrote a few chapters before pushing that project to the side, Grimm played a crucial role in making me see the fantastic elements and the enormous potential of its genre.
To see the show canceled despite good Friday ratings is extremely disappointing. NBC always cancels their best shows. With the passing of Grimm, I will no longer be watching anything on NBC. None of their other shows are even close to being interesting or worth my time.
Consider this my final plea to NBC, a network that I once held in high regard, only to see it continue to make blunder after blunder. Grimm should be renewed for another season or two to adequately wrap up the complex plot and to make everyone happy.
I spent the last two days doing some major world building for my novel. There were a few details that I had neglected to figure out and I realized that having those details would make it much easier to piece my world together.
I figured out approximate populations for countries and major cities and created maps for two of the kingdoms where most of the story will be taking place instead of just having a world map.
I also changed a few place names around and created distinctive regions in each country.
I also did a little bit of writing in A Clash of Crimson and I was able to add about 1000 words to the story. If I can keep this momentum up I will be looking good for NaNoWriMo.
As a quick side note, I’m attending a diversity journalism conference in Oregon next week. Because of this commitment, I had to refuse an offer for two $50 tickets for row 17 to see Def Leppard in Tacoma on October 1. Ugh. I really want to go to that concert.