The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

Thesis Blues pt.6

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I have a week until I have to make my first submission to my thesis advisor. I promised her 30 pages, and will probably deliver more than that. I’m happy with what I have at the start of the story and for about 30 pages; it’s almost strictly biographical about Jim. I’ve done some solid research, and found a way to develop character based on little more than conjecture. One of the joys of Creative Nonfiction is that you have license to conjecture (amongst other things), so long as you are on the level about it with the reader. And don’t go crazy with it. It’s certainly not my preferred method, but it will work where I’m using it in the story.

I stopped by Jim’s house over Christmas. I brought some Northwestern gear for him and his daughters. I have school spirit falling out of my ears; I think everyone I know should have some solid Northwestern gear to wear out and about on their regular routines. I do. I wear it with pride!

Seeing Jim last week may be the last time I see him before the thesis is due in June. I had to check on a couple of things and do some recon to prep myself for the end of the story. The end sort of came to me in a flash two weeks ago. I think I figured out how to wrap the whole thing up, but I’m not sure. I thought I had a solid opening to the story at one point and it has changed three times since then. Jim’s life is still going on, so it makes it difficult to put any solid closure on it. I have to kind of catch him at some point that seems logical for a stopping point. One of my professors warned me that it would be very difficult to get a story arc with Jim since he’s still alive and active. Not to sound morbid at all, but it’s just a fact that he is still alive and active. Something could happen at any time that could drastically change the story. It’s one of the challenges of writing it.

I’m also getting into the factual research about poverty at this point. I have a couple of books by a leading authority (Ruby Payne) that I checked out of my school’s library. I wonder how I’m going to weave in all that. I’m sure I’ll find a way to do it. What has me more nervous, though, is finding a way to manage all the different angles her writing is going to inspire in my writing. No doubt it will lead me in many new directions, many of which I won’t be able to pursue. Some will be too minor for the story, some will lead to deadends, some will prove to be too much to cover. I guess I’ll have to deal with that as it occurs.


Written by seeker70

December 28, 2008 at 6:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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