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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Thesis Snipping

This week is turning out to be tricky. No novel work for me, though I've successfully managed to juggle PhD commitments with some rewriting since Christmas. The work I'm doing at the moment requires my full attention. My characters are battling for head space alongside Wilkie Collins and Edmund Yates characters and, to be quite honest, they're getting a bit muddled up there. The next time I go back to my novel draft it wouldn't surprise me if my placid but sarcastic characters began indulging in some accidental bigamy.

The crux of the problem is my fourth thesis chapter, also known as the thesis chapter of doom/thesis chapter from hell/thesis chapter I'm going to set fire to. I mentioned how much trouble I was having with it in November (here, with Victor Meldrew references). I said I was having 'wild ideas' about hitting the delete button. You know what I did the other day? Deleted over 8,000 words, the entire section of analysis, and went back to the drawing board.

I found that trying to rewrite what was already in there was a nightmare. Plot description mixed up with argument mixed up with quotes mixed up with points I didn't really know I was making - it was all a mess. Hitting the 'delete' button was a moment of trauma but I've started to build it back up slowly with 1400 words written in that last few days. I'm not exactly a self-confident type of person but I'm 90% sure that the words I've put in are far superior to the ones I removed. Then again, at this point, I would say that! To be honest, whether it's true or not, I need to believe it for now. Otherwise I'll just be stranded in no-man's land; safe in the knowledge that the work I had before wasn't good enough and incapable of moving forward. At least I'm moving, that's what I keep telling myself.

I have a supervisor meeting next Thursday. So that's a week to get things into shape while I'm away for most of the weekend... Ouch. Better not think of it in those terms either!

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