Ah, more thesis

So I’m making progress on my thesis, I think. I’ve cut out two stories to save myself major revising headaches. But now I have five stories, all but one are over 20 pages long (double-spaced). And one I just wrote over Christmas break so it still needs lots of work. And I’m fairly frustrated with it because I have a lot of changes to make that I don’t really want to make but know that I need to. I love my main character–a woman with early onset of Alzheimer’s who works in a deli–but I originally had her acting strange out of grief for her recently dead husband. And now I realize that it needs to be Alzheimer’s as well, so I have to go through and make her behavior consistent–more about random short-term memory loss. And by the end of the story, she will be losing her facility with words. It’s a happy story.

But the other four are coming along well. All of them are done and now I’m just going through and literally examining each paragraph for ways to tighten and compress the language. And the endings all still need work. But that will be the case until I have to submit my final thesis to my committee.

I have only two more weeks with my stories until I have to give them to Marjorie for the last intervention. The pressure’s on, though I suppose it was before.

I should post a picture later of all the stacks of stories around the apartment. For each story I write, there are many drafts I print out and go over. And I don’t have a good place to put them since our four filing drawers are full. It would be great if I had my own office so I could keep my mess there.

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3 Comments

  1. If you want ideas about Alzheimer’s, I could tell you about my mother’s progress with the disease. I don’t know how long the span of time in your story is, but depending on how rapid the onset (and it does vary), from short term memory loss to loss of words might take a while. Of course we all lose words now and then. It’s not so much the words as the concepts – such as what does a spoon do or what is it that one pours on cereal – one’s coffee? How old is this character? Of course you are right that one can have both grief and Alzheimer’s simultaneously – in fact it probably happens a lot – but to make the story manageable?? But one aspect that my mother suffered was noticing her early onset Alzheimer’s and being scared and feeling lost – so if your character has other losses, that would magnify. I’d love to read your story if you are willing to share.

  2. Everyone first thought that the change in Mima’s behavior was because of depression related to her marriage, KK’s behavior, and Great-Grannie’s death. And it probably was depression. But I don’t think any of us doubt that it was also the early stage of Alzheimer’s. My memory is that she never really came out of it even after she went on antidepressants.

  3. Keep those drafts!!! When fame arrives people will want to study how you came to such amazingly wonderful stories. They will analyze each edit. The drafts will sell for more than the final original.

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