Feb
27

Draft Number Two and My Honors Colloquium Presentation

Well, I can honestly say that I have made a great deal of progress in my novel since the time of my last post. I have finished up a second full draft, complete with additions, rewrites, revisions, and a few deletions here and there. It still isn’t a final draft, but nor is it rough. Printing out my entire novel at once–having all sorts of difficulties with double-sided printing and ink and page-numbering in the process–and putting it into a binder felt pretty amazing. This cleaner revised draft currently is in the hands of my remarkable advisor, who will read through the entirity in the next couple of weeks.

Finishing with a second draft this early is fantastic. For one thing it allows me to have a real spring break. I’ll probably read over said draft during vacation, but I need some distance from the current version of my novel before I begin work on my final revisions. If I had to do so, I wouldn’t be ashamed to hand over my current draft to my panel and Swem. This comfortability with where I am has allowed me to to open my current draft to a few close friends and thereby get some fresh eyes on my work. With the help of comments from my advisor and my group of ‘test-readers,’ I’ll be working towards my final draft. The difference in having a month and a half to really crack down on the nitty-gritty aspects of my thesis and to thoughtfully make any rearrangements/additions/revisions/ect, will hopefully be a final product of which I’ll not only be comfortable but very proud.

In addition to finishing up my first round of full revisions a couple of weeks ago, last Thursday I also got the wonderful opportunity of presenting at the Honors Colloquium. It was really a fun process all around. I enjoyed working with Powerpoint, particularly going through my pictures of Nepal and Scotland and choosing different ones to share (one picture even spurred a slight last minute addition to my second draft).  I made myself a nice flow-chart of my novel’s structure, and organized my slides…I even had some fun with Paint when I made a map of Sophie’s backyard. All in all it was a good process, not only because I got to share my work with the kind people who came out to support me, but also because I had to choose how to go about presenting said novel. What ideas are necessary to include in this presentation? What themes did I want to highlight? What could I leave out? I got to talk about childhood, about nature and fear and growing up and friendship. I also shared some stories about Nepal and my writing process, the ups and downs.

The Colloquium provided a great opportunity to share, but also to experience other projects. I was thoroughly impressed with all the other honors theses I encountered. It’s so thrilling to be part of such an incredibly intellectual community here in William and Mary. I shared my colloquium slot with fellow creative writer Carrie Winter, and I was particularly moved by her presentation. Her project requires such fortitude and courage, and it was humbling to share the stage with her. She, writing creative non-fiction, also brought up a lot of interesting issues about memory and fiction and reality that very much resonant with my own thesis.

In any case, I’m looking forward to the last stretch of editing and revising ahead of me. I will probably post again once I have read through this current draft and received my advisor’s comments. From there I can better diagnose remaining problems in the text and move towards their solutions.

Comments

  1. Brianna Frentzko says:

    Oh, because someone asked me about this the other day in that old-fashioned mode of communication… talking is it called?:-)

    I have had two other blogs, for the curious. One records my Monroe project which was also a creative writing project–this time writing a historical novel on the Modoc Indian War. You can access that here:
    http://upperclassmonroe.blogs.wm.edu/author/bnfrentzko/

    My other blog recorded most of my time abroad in Scotland and the various adventures I had there. And you can get to that from this link:
    http://bnf2scotland.blogs.wm.edu/

    Just putting that information on the table as requested:-)