Behold, a dissertation is born!
Back in early May, I posted the first chapter of a then-just completed 120,000 manuscript called The Dream Trip. In that post, I said I had a lot of revising to do. I wasn’t kidding. I think this story about two married people going rogue to get their marriage off the rocks (as opposed to the usual marriage narrative in fiction — hate, sadness, inevitable destruction) has so much potential, but I’m trying to do more with it than anything I’ve ever written before. You know, fancy stuff like theme, metaphorical imagery, dalliances with metafiction.
At times, I felt like I had gone too far. Let’s be honest: at times, I was asking myself, “What the f*ck are you doing, homes?” while running to the kitchen for the nearest bottle of whisky. So I decided to condense down the heart of the story to about 30,000 words and submit it as my master’s dissertation at the University of Edinburgh’s Creative Writing program. This allowed me to put it in front of my wonderful dissertation adviser Jane McKie several times before submitting. Jane was incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about the work, which makes me think maybe having a little faith in myself to stretch into the rarefied realm of “literary fiction” paid off. Or maybe Jane just suffers from the same strain of crazy I have.
I’ll find out in November when I receive my dissertation grade. Until then, I’ve made the novella available on the front page of the site or you can just click here. It’s only 30,000 words. What better way to procrastinate before finishing your own dissertation or [insert important project here].