My writing process for my thesis proposal has been quite an eye opening process. I have always had a basic idea of what I thought that I wanted to do for my thesis proposal. But when asked to actually write down my thoughts. I found myself in quite the quandary. I wanted to simply say that I wanted to do a creative project but that was not enough.
I took the time to think and I wrote out some preliminary rough drafts of what I thought I should say for the first thesis proposal but nothing really struck my mind. After a while, I thought to myself what it is that I was really trying to say and what is important about what I am trying to get across in my thesis and work. After a while longer, it came to me that I wanted to write about something that I loved of course but something that made sense and wasn't a far off concept.
Then it struck me that I have always been driven by the theme of identity. By the struggles of people trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life. How the idea of being "I" can come so easily to some and so exceedingly difficult to others. I wanted to take this idea which has not only fascinated in my mind but in written stories and movies and see what I can create with the idea and my own mind and two hands.
I found that after I free wrote some ideas about how to best interpret the theme of identity. I came up with the idea of creating a story in which a character has to go through a process of self discovery. And found that this process of writing allowed me to develop the rough draft of the research proposal.
This past summer, I thought a lot about what direction I want my thesis to take. I also thought about how all of these new ideas that I was coming up with would either harmonize or clash with the thesis concept that I came away with last semester.
I know that I definitely want to study fanfiction and fanfiction writers. Initially, my proposal leaned toward juxtaposing fanfiction with the source material that inspired it: the young adult novels that would serve as my source texts. One of the major goals of my project was to demonstrate the ways in which these fan writers are able to transform and authenticate the published stories that they write about.
Now, I am leaning more towards studying the fan writers themselves. I am interested in the ways in which collaboration occurs in these fan communities. I am also interested in how reader input influences the way that these writers write. These communities are tightly woven, and the writers and readers form relationships that I think are unique and worth studying.