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The Journey



A junior student of rhetoric is working on refining their skills to reflect positive and negative discourses on everything from war to politics. Encomium, or Panegyric in Greek, is the name for a discourse of praise. Modern day occurrences include letters of recommendation, eulogies and toasts to honor someone. The antithesis of encomium is an invective blame or abuse for someone or something. Examples of invectives would be letters to editors or smear tactics used by politicians to discredit their opponent in campaigns. (Crowley 402).

Juniors have "become strong writers. They've submitted some actual proposals at conferences [and] had an editor say those magic words "'Send me that proposal.'" Then comes the nasty rejection letter with the words we've studied your proposal carefully and it does not meet "'our needs at the present time.'" They know people from editors to other writers. "More importantly, editors are beginning to know their faces. Juniors are a frustrated lot. Their friends can't understand why they're not published" (Ingermanson). Friends never understand why you're not published yet and it gets annoying to hear "any luck on a contract yet?" but they ask because they care. The junior writer needs to keep focused on craft and dissect everything, back story, characterization, dialogue, narration, description, plot conflict and even word choice should be nailed. Proposals and manuscript should be honed and they are not afraid to slash and rewrite in that ever-present quest for perfection. They are conference junkies who go to everything then can find, or afford, in the hopes of making that perfect connection. They are two steps from publication and not hating every minute but they will someday look back at this stage and go thank God I didn't give up! It would be easy at this stage.