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Thesis Torture #1

After 6 months of hand-wringing, my thesis adviser finally finished my draft. And guess what? It was as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I’ve been working on the same story for over 10 years. I love it and I hate it. Inevitably almost, it became my master’s thesis. It’s a re-imagining of the French Revolution, a sort of “what-if” scenario. I know the characters front to back. I know the world in vivid detail. And yet, I knew that because of my in-depth relationship with the story, it would inevitably get lost in the minutiae.

And it did, and now I have to reconcile myself with the fact that the nearly everything needs to get ripped out and redone. It’s a scary prospect, especially after I’ve already put so much work into the manuscript. And the one I submitted was by no means the first draft. The piece itself has made some serious strides in the last decade, but it’s still not ready.

It’s days like these that I wonder if I’ll ever be published. I mean, the odds are certainly against me…but being a published author is the one thing that I’ve ever really wanted. I work towards that goal every day. I WRITE every day.

In the end, the grievances my adviser had were not out of the realm of “fixable” and most fall under the category that most young writers fall under: “Beautiful sentences but not much substance.” I’m not upset, I’m really not. Everything he said was a fair criticism that I must accept and absorb if I ever intend on being a real writer.

The next several months as I go into the bulk of this revision will be trying. I will have to set aside whole sections of the manuscript in order for it to thrive. I will not regret writing those pages because they taught me something about my characters.

I’m hopeful and frustrated, the perfect state for me because it means I will strive to be better.


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