Monday, April 20, 2009

Journalism: Real story telling

I am a journalist. Or at least trying to be one. I graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism with an emphasis in magazine editing. I am trying desperately to find a job in the changing world of news media. The Internet has changed everything. The current economic slump is keeping advertisers from advertising and readers from paying for news. Having not come across any freelance jobs in the area, I'm keeping my writing brain fresh with this blog and the fiction that I write.

Allow me to rant for a minute: A friend pointed out the irony of the title of my blog with the nature of my degree, as he implied that journalism is often fabricated. If only people knew the lengths to which reporters and editors go to ensure the accuracy of the story. Of course there are those who abuse their power of information sharing. There will always be bad seeds. Just don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. And people complain about the media constantly, but do you know anyone that actually stops paying attention to news and current events because they say it's all made up or slanted? No. Journalism will always exist. There is in an inherent need for it.

Sure, without a doubt, the media has somewhat of a liberal slant (in some mediums and outlets more than others). But, as a professor once said addressing this statement, it's in the nature of the business. The profession is that of watchdog and activist work, and therefore those practicing share the liberal, social mindset.

And now I make a connection between the blog and journalism. I believe, hope, that my training in journalism will help me to see what fiction needs to be written. The best fiction relates truths, thereby becoming a form of journalism. I hope that my knowledge of what goes into a good story, the details that need to be looked for, will inform and aid my journalism profession once it starts.

I came across a story in the LA Times through It shows that while journalism is in a slump, there is still hope. Now, I just need someone to put their trust in my abilities and hire me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Truckin' on...

I apologize for long absence. There has just been a lot to do around the apartment, lots of little things like re-registering the car and other such headaches.

I just received my eighth rejection yesterday for "Gullible Jack." I am now down to half of submissions remaining out, four of which I might be hearing from soon (my guess from their estimated response time). This latest rejection came from Fifth Wednesday Journal. They, out of all the rejections thus far, have been the only one to provide feedback. I can't tell you how appreciative I was. This gave me hope for several reasons. 1. They took the time to evaluate my work and didn't just read it and toss it. They care for their writers. 2. And I quote: "I admire the story’s risk-taking." That's always nice to hear. 3. The majority of their suggestions and comments were things I had struggled and fought over, and now I have a better idea of where to take the story should it not get picked up be any of the other eight submissions still out.

I think I'm realizing one of my weaknesses as a writer, not including my A.D.D. I have a hard time providing enough background and, for lack of a better term, psychological evidence for what is taking place in the story. Apparently, I tend to focus too much on the here and now of the piece. I will keep this in mind as I wrap up the first draft of "The Red Truck" and go through the editing process.

A question for you writers out there: How do you write a first-person narrative without using "I" in almost every sentence? Right now that's what it feels like is happening to me.