I envision and hope for my final thesis to be equal parts creative and analytical. Kinda like me.
In three short weeks, I have eliminated 4 of my original 5 potential thesis topics. Replaced one of the eliminated topics with a completely (sorta) new topic . And, most recently, have managed to combine the “last two standing” into a project that truly makes my heart race.
There was this eerie (dare I say serendipitous??) moment on the phone with Alan when I realized part of my thesis was literally tattooed to my foot. The words: Your Father.
And so, with a little help from Alan, some soul searching, and web surfing, I have finally begun to see the possible shape of my project. I am eager to move on the next phase(s) of this journey and can honestly say that I am thrilled with where this may lead me….
Thesis Concept: A little hard to describe. In short, it’s a mixed-genre, low-tech, multimodal narrative. I would further categorize it as a creative nonfiction memoir, perhaps. I will reflect both on the creative writing process and the possible implications of such activities with regard to coping with the loss of a loved-one.
Creative Aspect: Basically, I intend to create a series of fictional “conversations” (think epistolary form) with my father–beginning on (or around) the day after he died (9-11-01) and ending in the present time (2017). However, throughout the course of this 16-year span of interactions, the mode of communication used would evolve to reflect the most socially-prevalent and accurate one of the time. For example, my father did not have a cell phone in 2001, so text-messaging would not be an accurate depiction of the time. I was thinking of starting with letters to my father, then emails, followed by text-messages and ending with tweets to each other.
Analytical Aspects: I am interested in reflecting on a number of things related to this project. Some things to consider:
- What does it take to recreate a realistic version of a real person? (memory, analyzing artifacts such as letters, notes; watching old home movies, etc.)
- How does the chosen mode of communication affect the narrative? (paying attention to the semiotics and nuances of the medium may produce shorter/longer, formal/informal, more/less frequent intervals of communications)
- How does the device/tool used to compose a narrative impact the creative process? (ex: should fictional narrative letters be drafted, edited and revised with pen and paper? Should an author composed text-message simulations on a cell phone in order to recreate an authentic experience and thus, believable output?, etc.)
- Is it possible to help others recreate this process?
- How can writing this type of memoir aid with the healing process after the loss of a loved-one?