For this week, during class online, we got the chance to break into groups and talk about our progress with our project. It was fun hearing from other classmates, who happened to also be working on their thesis this second time around, about their progress. And as expected, they all had accumulated considerable amount of work since the previous thesis course. I had the chance to share my progress with them as well, and exchange ideas on my process and progress. We talked about a few important things in relation to our thesis projects, such as the central inquiry, research done so far, methodologies, and our desired next steps to follow.
For me, I shared the following:
My central inquiry, as I understand it myself right now, is based on the idea or concept of encouraging “voice”. I purposely showcase it in the strategies used through my own creative writing piece (thesis project). And I also support the idea that voice becomes the inspiration to become a better writer. And so, I incorporated in my piece, academic and personal strategies that serve as the guidelines as methods to strengthen a writers voice. I also purposely selected the genre of creative fiction, so that this central inquiry becomes a possibility.
The research that I have done so far in relation to my thesis project is the following. I have taken some time look at other works within the same genre I selected for my project. And I have further narrowed my search by looking into works that have a strong and apparent writer’s voice. Some of the works I found meeting this criteria are:
- Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro
A dystopian science-fiction and coming-of-age story with a cast fated since birth to never see an advanced age, and its dystopia is one all-too-familiar: a world in which certain classes live well, and others are effectively doomed.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell
The NSA, the War on Terror, the rise of Fake News as a capital-letter concept; the world is seemingly more Orwellian by the day, more horrifying than any alien invasion, nuclear wasteland or supernatural-disaster.
- Earth Abides, By George R. Steward
This story begins with a rampant disease killing off most people in America. A young grad student, the wonderfully named Isherwood Williams, has managed to survive in the mountains — but after he emerges from his “temporary” sabbatical, he finds civilization entirely collapsed. After a mostly fruitless cross-country road trip searching for fellow human life, Ish agrees to have children with another survivor, Emma. They form a new society of sorts, but without electricity or other modern advantages, they must revert to a semi-primitive lifestyle: hunting and gathering for food and eschewing literacy in favor of survival skills.
- I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
Like Earth Abides, it also begins with a pandemic. But there’s a twist: the disease doesn’t just decimate the population, it also turns them into vampire-like mutants who want to infect all other humans. The only remaining hope for civilization appears to be Robert Neville, a lone man driven to discover the scientific cause of the disease and find a cure, before he himself is affected. His wife and daughter have already perished from the disease; even the dog he takes in as a last-ditch companion ends up becoming infected. Neville finds hope in the existence of another survivor, Ruth… but she seems to have her own agenda that doesn’t necessarily align with his.
- The Stand, by Stephen King
The Stand is a post-apocalyptic tale that stems from a deadly virus, but King’s development of it is singular. He terrifyingly describes the initial outbreak of “Project Blue” and the military’s failure to contain it. The deadly sweep of influenza extinguishes 99% of the world’s population, leaving society in tatters.
As for my next steps with my project, I can simply say that I just plan on continuing my progress with fair improvement each time. My strongest wish is for me to finish up with a final version of my project that I can be proud off – something meaning not only to me, but also to those to come to learn about it in the near future.
—–MY LITERATURE REVIEW—–
In terms of my Lit-Review, I can’t say that I have a strong and solid idea in mind yet of how I want it to be. But I do think I want to base it on the various strategies that I will use in my creative writing project. I will talk about them in detail, as well as how they work in my writing to strengthen my voice. In essence, for now my plan is for my lit-review to serve as the window to all the secrets behind my thesis project and purpose.
In terms of my methodology, I am also not set on a specific concept of methodology, as I am still exploring. But so far, thanks to a recent summer class I took this year, I got the chance to come up with two methodologies which will go in hand and in relation with my inquiry of “voice”.
Essentialism (Focused on oppression / Suppresses VOICE):
The theory of Essentialism says that school is where students come to learn what is considered essential knowledge, in order for them to live in the “real world” and succeed. In this case, the teacher is expert of the subject being taught and he has complete authority and voice over the student. Meanwhile, the student is bank of knowledge, whose only role is to learn by memorizing, repeating, and recording.
In this process, the student is unable to fully explore and express his own creativity, voice, authority, and authenticity due to oppression.
How I plan to use it:
I plan to use this one to support the idea of how a writer’s voice can be suppressed under such system.
Existentialism (liberation of the mind / Encourages VOICE):
This theory says that the student learns to be authentic and responsible. He or she also develops conscious decision-making skills where he explores the meaning of life and finds meaning for goals.
How I plan to use it:
I plan to use this one as my primary form for obtaining and exercising the practice of voice in my writing.
—–THESIS PROGRESS CALENDAR—-
-Working stage of my thesis manuscript
-Working stage of my Lit-review and researching.
-Further working on my thesis part of the project.
-Further working on my Lit-review part of the project.
-Finishing up the Lit-review/Thesis parts of my project.
-Putting up all of the pieces together.
-Making final editing touches and adjustments.
-Inclusion/exclusion of additional ideas, concepts, ect…
-Having my final version of the project 100% done.
-Turning my final project (thesis project/Lit-Review) into a physical form (Book/digital article) for presentation and showcasing.