Thursday, 12 July 2012

Dissertation Madness

My lack of posting over the past couple of weeks is due to my brain being replaced by cotton wool. Well, not exactly - but it feels like it! I've been busy working on my dissertation for a Creative Writing MA. I've chosen to submit linked short stories (as opposed to a section of a novel or screenplay). The creative writing portion of my dissertation has to be around 15,000 words.

Last night, I finished the first draft of my final story: I have 7 stories which currently total 13,500 words. These first drafts are very rough and I would rather walk over broken glass than submit them as is. They need redrafting several times, but I'm relieved that I have an accurate idea of what I'm doing.

I now get to focus on writing a 5,000 word contextualising essay. If you're thinking 'I have no idea what I'd write for a contextualising essay,' join the club! While I read like crazy and attempt to draft the essay, hopefully I'll get some distance from my stories and will be able to approach rewriting with some level of freshness.

Needless to say, I'm incredibly stressed. I spent an hour crying at the computer on Monday because I realised the story I'd planned to open the collection wasn't working and I'd have to replace it with 2 others. The more I read of/about Gothic and Southern Gothic fiction, the more I confuse myself thinking about what I want to achieve with my stories.

Don't be surprised if you hear of a 28 year old woman found at her computer in a trance, mumbling 'But is it weird enough?'