We sat down with Finn (10) to learn about how he’s exploring his personal interests in Primer—ranging from writing fiction to making music.
What interests have you explored on Primer?
I have been writing for a very long time but improved greatly once I joined Primer, since I have been very active in the Storyteller's Club. I routinely post in the Music Club as well. I usually write fiction, and occasionally I write biographies or history reports. I’ve been working on a lot of poetry and novellas as well.
(You can check out some of Finn’s writing here that was published in the first issue of the Primer Papers.)
How do you think sharing your work on Primer has helped your writing style evolve?
I think getting feedback early on can help me take more things into consideration when writing later chapters. People on Primer have commented a lot on my work with compliments or constructive criticism. I also feel more motivation to write when I’m excited to share it with other people.
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on a crime novel that takes place in the post-WWI era in an imaginary place located in the eastern United States. This is one of my first crime novels. I myself also enjoy other kinds of stories that are more humorous and take place in the present, but I theorized that it would be good to try something new.
Do you exchange book recommendations with kids on Primer?
Yes, quite a lot especially in Rooms. I have hosted a pop culture Room and another one more regularly where we discuss the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Why do you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How has it inspired your own writing?
It’s an extremely fascinating movie series—it helps me develop as a writer. I get inspired by its multi-layered antagonists who perhaps want to help the world in a somewhat nefarious way. I plan to reveal the antagonist in my crime novel later on.
What inspired you to host the pop culture Room?
Pop culture is something I’ve been studying since I was 7. I think it’s interesting to learn about 50’s pop culture and 60’s pop culture and think about how they still affect our world today. In the Room I hosted, we would choose three categories—music, television, literature—and we would have a discussion. It’s interesting to see things from another point of view when other kids have a different opinion.
What is your favorite kind of music?
I myself really enjoy jazz.
Do you feel a connection between music and writing?
I play piano and I’ve tried writing music that would go well with my books if they were ever to be formatted into movies.
Have you ever been inspired by other people’s work on Primer?
Yes, I’ve been inspired by seeing other people’s writing especially when I see people write from different points of view, such as with a narrator—something a bit different from how I would usually write.
How do you think writing from another POV changes the dynamics of a story?
I think it can really change how you look at the protagonist. It can also help develop a narrator character arc, which is always interesting.
What have you learned in the process of being a Room host?
I’ve learned that you need to be a very outgoing person and that introverted people can learn to become more extroverted. I’m in the gray zone in the middle. Hosting a Room is definitely a learning process. You need to be a conversation starter and a judge in disagreements to keep the momentum of the Room going properly.
What strategies have you used to launch conversations?
Switching the topic is a good way to keep the momentum going. It unfortunately can be a bit of a challenge. In the first room I hosted there was a good argument over whether Elvis’s music was better than Bobby Day’s, but I told them how this is good because now you can see from two different points of view.
Have you been able to find friends on Primer?
I believe I have 1-2 close friends on Primer that I’ve made through commenting on each other's projects. I live in a small town, so there are very few kids where I live who want to share my interests. Primer changed that.
What are some of your aspirations?
I would love to self-publish a book someday and perform on the piano publicly. One of my biggest goals for the Music Club is to play a theme song for different movies, each starting with a different letter of the alphabet. I also use Soundtrap, an online music studio, to collaborate with other kids on Primer.
What other projects have you experimented with on Primer?
I’ve learned that a lot of the writers on Primer are also artists. I joined and experimented with the Artist’s club which kindled an interest in art. I’ve considered painting and even attempted painting for the Artist's club.