All posts by KarelNavyBlue

2nd Post: Where I am and What’s to Come

——-PROGRESS REPORT——-

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.

What’s noticeable:

 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—-

SEPTEMBER:

-Working stage of my thesis manuscript

-Working stage of my Lit-review and researching.

OCTOBER:

-Further working on my thesis part of the project.

-Further working on my Lit-review part of the project.

NOVEMBER:

-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…

DECEMBER:

-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.

First Day Intro (A Sweet Return)

This semester I am returning back to the second part of my thesis project. I can honestly say that is my most excited class this semester, not only because I will continue working on a project that is of great value to me, but also because it is one I have already emotionally bonded with in ways I never imagined. Interestingly enough, this class will be one of two classes I am taking this Fall, as part of my last semester at Kean. This is of course, if everything goes well.

It is a habit of mine for many years now, to never feel safe or sure about anything (in this case, making it to graduation) until getting to the finish line. And so, there is always a bit of fear in the back of my mind. But this is not a bad thing, being realistic about my fears, actually helps me keep on track and focused so that I can get there to the finish line.

With that aside, I really feel excited for what’s to come in the next 4 months of class, and to see how everything unfolds. But more importantly, I am looking forward to seeing through the completion of my project. This is because I have further personal plans for my thesis project.

Project Map Completion / 5 Reference Stories

For this week, I found myself looking over more ideas for the completion of the map for my story. This time around, I came up with some ideas for my resolution and conclusion, which I was satisfied with. Because in the I have worked on many projects that always end in a similar way, and because I have been so used to reading works where the main character always has a happy ending that focuses on them, I worked around that idea this time. The result was that the protagonist for my story will not be having a happy ending, but his death will result in a probable salvation for the rest of the world. In a sense, his tragic death will trigger and heroic effect.





In addition to working on the completion for the map of my story, I spend some time looking up interesting stories that serve as references to the work I am crafting. And because I had a large of to pick from, I focused on finding similar stories that I would really be interesting on reading, not just skimming though. Allowing myself to read some of these additional similar works with interest will allow me to learn more how those works were crafted and the many components that came together to from them. This in return will also help me on the crafting of my project because I will have more understanding on the choices I must take for my work to be just as good. So far, from my list, I am most interested on the stories of I Am Legend (Matheson), and The Stand (King).

(1) 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.

(2) 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.

(3) Earth Abides, By George R. Steward

 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

Further Developing The Story Map Outline – Climax & Falling Action

This week I picked up where I left off, and worked on further developing two more important chapters of story (Climax and falling action). At first, I had an idea of what I wanted for my climax, but the hard part was putting it all together so that it would make sense. So, I worked on working around the main conflict, or reason for it to exist in the first place (that patient zero came to be because of a medical experiment by Dr. Richard Ward. And once again, when Kyle and his wife meet up with Dr. Ward once more, the tides of the ocean are shaken).  

Then, I after coming up with the main points I will be writing on my climatic moment of the story, I started to work on my next chapter, which is less intense in drama, but more sentimental and emotionally moving. This is supposed to be the part of the story that leads to the resolution, so I intend to make it emotionally moving before lighting up the mood with a move positive conclusion (as intended).

Bellow is a screenshot of the map of ideas for these chapters I developed.

To be continued…

Crafting the Story: Patient Zero

Recap:

For the past few weeks, I had been working on some story ideas for my project. Finally, I am excited to have chosen one of the stories ideas I developed and to start working on it. For this week, I spent some time planning on how I would like to story to be. In such case, I find myself approaching this new stage of the process with a familiar practice that has always worked for me in the past: first, developing a story map and character profiles, then working around this to complete the work, or rather the story. Working in this organized manner allows me to no lose track of my main points, ideas, theme, and much more on a project, as I continue adding the various pieces missing to the puzzle.

———————————————————————————————————————

Patient Zero

A story about an older man who wakes up at a hospital, after having been in a comma for 3 months. He doesn’t remember what happened to him, or why he had been hospitalized. But after the doctors informs him about it all, then he gains a little more understanding of his situation. Soon, he starts to remember about his family, and after leaving the hospital, he goes to his house to find his family. But upon arrival, he discovers that his family is nowhere to be found, and the house is completely a mess inside. The world around him is also a mess, as there is now a deadly virus that has killed thousands of people since its discovery. Now, the protagonist must try to search for his family in a dangerous world. Meanwhile, scientists are in search for a cure, while resources are becoming scarcer each day.

——————————–(STORY MAP)——————————-

Chapter 1:                                                EXPOSITION

Kyle wakes up at the hospital after a long comma.

Back and forward communication between him and the doctors.

-He is told that he can go home in 3 days.

-But after one day before Kyle is released from the hospital, he grows more fearful and aware (by watching TV, looking at the other patients who are sick with the virus) of the situation that it’s happening, and escapes with without discharge.

Chapter 2:                                           RISING ACTION

Kyle arrives home

-His family (wife, son, and daughter)is no longer there. The house is empty as if no one had lived there.

-Now he questions whether his mind is playing trick on him or something else.

-His memory starts to come back with flashbacks.

Chapter 3:                                    RISING ACTION PART II

Kyle goes on a search for his family, to some of the places that he remembers.

-Each place serves as a clue to where they might be next, as they keep moving.

-Kyle is now confused to why his family is moving around.

-Meanwhile, scientists are looking for “patient-zero ” or a cure for the virus.

Chapter 4:                                               CLIMAX

Kyle gets sick, and ends up at the hospital again.

Doctors find out it’s the same virus. They tell him that this could be his last chance for survival because the virus had previously damaged most of his organs to such a degree that he was barely able to survive.

-His wife appears all of a sudden….

TO BE CONTINUED…

———————————–CHARACTER PROFILES————————————

KYLE (Protagonist):

-Age: 65

– Retired English teacher.

– Personality: calm and collected.

KATE (Kyle’s wife):

-Age: 46

– A housewife once who gets tough when the tough gets going.

– The protector of Karel and Krystal.

– Personality: decisive, strong willed, short tempered.

KAREL (Kyle’s son):

-Age: 16

-A child who was victim of medical experimentation.

-Immune to the virus.

-Personality: Quiet and shy. Doesn’t talk much..

KRYSTAL (Kyles’ daughter):

-Age: 15

-The person leaving small notes to Kyle.

-Personality: Thoughtful and caring.

DR. RICHARD WARD (Antagonist. Kyle’s first main doctor. Person chasing Kyle’s son):

-Age: 57

-Someone who is caught up in his own medical world. Will do anything for his experiements, at the cost of human lives.

-Personality: A snake which hides it’s true intentions behind it’s fake smile.

DR. ABARY PATEL (Kyle’s second main doctor):

-Age: 40

-A kind and honest doctor.

-Personality: A real nerd on medicine.

JAMES (Kate’s uncle and close family member):

TINA (Kate’s aunt and family member):

———————–SECRETS BEHIND THE STORY————————–

-Dr. Richard Ward is responsible for Karel’s first infection to the virus.

-The virus was invented by Dr. Richard Ward as part of an experiment on his own lab.

-Kyle’s son is “Patient Zero”

5 Stories Ideas (UPDATED)

Story Idea # 1:

Theme: Survival

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

A story about a young guy who wakes up at a hospital, after having been in a comma for 3 months. He doesn’t remember what happened to him, or why he had been hospitalized. But after the doctors informs him about it all, then he gains a little more understanding of his situation. Soon, he starts to remember about his family, and after leaving the hospital, he goes to his house to find his family. But upon arrival, he discovers that his family is nowhere to be found, and the house is completely a mess inside. The world around him is also a mess, as there is now a deadly virus that has killed thousands of people since its discovery. Now, the protagonist must try to search for his family in a dangerous world. Meanwhile, scientists are in search for a cure, while resources are becoming scarcer each day.

Story Idea # 2:

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Apocalyptic

A story about a virus that kills, involuntarily, any living thing that is touches. This virus was created, accidentally, in a laboratory while a group of scientists were trying to find a cure for the deadly virus known as SARS. Covid, the main character of the story, takes the shape of a blue-like gelatinous substance, after the possession of its first host. It uses human bodies as vessels, and before taking away their lives, it transfers to another host by droplets. However, it has no intention of hurting anything it comes in contact with, but it is helpless with its powers. Because of this, it wishes that human kind would find a cure to it.

Story Idea #3:

Genre: Supernatural / Fiction

Theme: Love / Romance

A story about a man who gains the power to travel back in time after being infected by a powerful virus. He becomes aware of this power after an incident at work, during a laboratory experiment. His life is pretty dull and empty without anyone to love or any friends. Because of his work addiction, he has detached from those around him over the years and now he is lonely. But after he gains supernatural powers, it is his chance again to fix many of the mistakes he made over the years, and to fix his relationship with his old-time ex-girlfriend. And so he finds himself travelling back and forward in time. But there is a catch to doing this, as he can only travel back to moment he had experience. Because of this, he can only correct the past with his actions, which will affect his future. His time in the past is also limited, so he must always keep travelling back.

Story Idea #4:

Genre: Supernatural/ Thriller/ Fiction

Theme: Love / Humanity Battle

A story about a young couple who become infected with a deadly virus. The virus has taken over their bodies, and each day it starts to change their appearance and complete bodies in ways that are not human. After the first few days, and after noticing the physical changes, they try isolating from the rest of society at their farm. But it doesn’t take long until one of them dies from it. Then, the next one dies a day later. In matter of hours, their dead corpses start twitching and moving, as every cell in their bodies regains live. Soon, they are both reborn into creatures with an uncontrollable desire for human and animal flesh. Then man especially is more out of control than the woman. On the first day of being reborn, he goes on a rampage and devours a great deal of people in the nearest small town. The woman, having a little more consciousness in spite of their transformation, starts to have some memories of part of their past. She starts to feel compassion for humans, and decides to eat animals in the farm instead. The story focuses on her trying to bring into control and consciousness her husband with each day that passes. But everyday, her husband becomes more consumed by his natural animalistic instincts and pulls farther away from her.

Story Idea #5:

Gene: Young Adult fiction

Theme: Heroism / Apocalyptic Disaster

A story about a young man who finds himself in the middle of an outbreak in his country, due to a deadly virus that is killing the lives of anyone who gets it. There are not survivors to this disease, and anyone who gets it, will have their lives taken in about 20 days. This young man is a immunologist doctor who is determined to find a cure for this virus. He embarks in a journey across the country, building social networks along the way with other important people who can help him in his research.

5 Story Ideas

Story Idea # 1:

Theme: Survival

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

A story about a young guy who wakes up at a hospital, after having been in a coma for 3 months. he doesn’t remember what happened to him, or why him had been hospitalized. But after the doctors tell him, then he gain a little more understanding of her situation. Soon, he starts to remember about his family, and after leaving the hospital, he goes to his house to find his family. But upon arrival, he discovers that his family is no where to be found, and the house is completely a mess inside. The world around him is also a mess, as there is now a deadly virus that has killed thousands of people since its first discovery. Now, the protagonist must try to search for his family in a dangerous world. Meanwhile, scientists are in search for a cure, while resources are becoming more scarce each day.

Story Idea # 2:

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Apocalyptic

A story about a virus that kills, involuntarily, any living thing that is touches. This virus was created, accidentally, in a laboratory while a group of scientist were trying to find a sure for the deadly virus known as SARS. Covid, the main character of the story, takes the shape of a blue-like gelatinous substance, after the possession of its first host. It uses human bodies as vessels, and before taking away their lives, it transfers to another host by droplets. However, it has no intention of hurting anything it comes in contact with, but it is helpless with its powers. Because of this, it wishes that human kind would find a cure to

Story Idea #3:

Genre: Supernatural / Fiction

Theme: Love / Romance

A story about a man who gains the power to travel back in time. He comes aware of this power after an accident at work, during a laboratory experiment. His lifes is pretty dull and empty without anyone to love or any friends. Because of his work addiction, he has detached from those around him over the years and now he was lonely. But now that he had supernatural powers, it was his chance to fix many of the mistakes he made over the years, and to fix his relationship with his old-time ex-girlfriend.  

Story Idea #4:

A story about a  young couple who are all the opposite in personality, but start a relationship regardless of the obstacles  they face. Everything works against them in the relationship: the languages they speak, their age, their races and family values. In the beginning the relationship starts slow and they face hardship. Over a couple of months, things start to improve little by little and their differences become subtlety ignored. Then, they made a promise, where the guy promises to finish building his career and complete his education in 4 years. But this goal is not accomplished so, they start to argue and fight, which only havocs the relationships. The girlfriend starts to feel she is only wasting her time with him, and that they will never have a future together. So, she decides to break up with him, leaving him traumatized and depressed for a long time. Now, he has a new war to fight – one with his new addiction behavior.

Story Idea #5:

Gene: Young Adult fiction

Theme: Love

A story about a guy who meets a girl at a food gallery in K-town, Manhattan, New York. Upon meeting the girl, he falls instantly in love with her physique and he is infatuated with her beauty. Her long black hair, almond shaped black eye, petite height, and shiny-clear smile. She, on the other hands, does not find him very attractive, but decides to give him a chance because of his sweet personality and charming ways. They start off on a relationship and learn about each other. But the guy is a real big liar as he lies to her about everything he says, since he is only trying to impress her. He has no intention of lying to her, but because he doesn’t want to loose this chance with this girl, he does it with the plan of working on his lies by making them a reality.

Stuck On Planning Phase

So, I know I said before I would finally start some writing for my thesis. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to. Instead, it seems I spend more time stuck in the planning phase. And perhaps, I shouldn’t rush myself moving on, since I am still putting this big puzzle together. This being the case, I have been reading a lot of the material I’ve collected so far, not only with the purpose of trying to make more sense out of it, and figure out how I will be using each piece of material, but also to further inform myself more on my topic and project. While reading some of the material and going over what I have so far, I noticed something that might affect my project in the future: the quality of sources I have collected so far. Some of these are from site that are somewhat credible and trusted, but other are from just sources I’ve never even heard of before. The good thing about this is that I know such sources are still pulling information from other engines and more reliable sources, but I am still afraid of using them as primary sources for information because of this. This is something I will need to figure out how before I become more involved in this project.

Another thing I’ve been working on lately is developing a timeline of events in relation to my topic. I feel this will be very useful, since I am collecting a lot of data each month on my topic. And being that the thesis project will go on for a year, I will most likely keep collecting even more info than I can handle. I imagine myself in a few months from now to be overwhelmed with data. So, developing this timeline of events will be very helpful. The good thing is that I am planning on only using data which I find relevant for the formation and completion of this project. Obviously, everything will have to fall into place, according to my project-plan. For now, I am working on these and a few other things too. But I am also hoping that I don’t get stuck and can’t move on forward to the other stages of development that are to follow.

The Ship Is About To Set Sail!

Since our last class I’ve been further working on the idea that I recently came up with for my project. Anyway, since then, I’ve started collecting a lot of sources, mainly a lot of news and articles on news channels and websites. Because the amount of news constantly coming out on my topic (the coronavirus) are so many, I am carefully selecting articles and information that I find relevant. And so, I have divided them into a few categories: start of the virus, the spreading around the world, the increase number of cases per month, and any possible cure or vaccines in development. So far, I have a lot of information to go through. I think this will be good for the development of my project because I will have a lot to use at my disposal.

Because I am also creating an anthology of fiction in regards to the virus, and still tell a story with different event moving forward towards an end, I will need to keep in mind the time and dates for the events. This way, I can tell a whole story of this virus in a chronological order, despite being composed of a selection of events. This is because the main star won’t be the random characters in each scenes, but rather the virus itself. At this point, since I already have some materials and a project plan, I think I will start on planning how to start the actual project. I don’t expect much for my first try, but I hope to polish the work little by little, until everything feels like its falling in place.