Publish date:

The Quick(ish) Descent to Thesis Insanity: (Mostly) Redemptive Song

I had my meeting with my advisor yesterday, the big two hour kind of
meeting where we went over my novel with fine-toothed combing
mechanism, and I can report, confidently, that I didn't die. The
scariest part was sitting in front of her with the manuscript and
watching her move around her office (as if she was putting it off!),
then finally sitting down, sighing and saying, "Well, um, ok."

But, friends, her intentions were neither cold-hearted nor snake-
. She had good things to say (for the most part). It seems the
re-writes I did brought the novel into coherence and upped the
tension throughout. She loved certain scenes involving a character I
added as sort of an afterthought, and she was able to think about my
book in the sort of analytical way that smart people think about
things. Okay, yes, she now hates my first chapter, and yes,
apparently chapter four isn't exactly "logical by any sense of the
word", but overall, not that bad! My favorite part of our two hour
meeting involved her asking about whether I did something because of
some sort of complicated, subtle symbolism when I think I just did it
because I had seen a particularly moving episode of Friday Night
right before I started to write.

Other highlights: "You could potentially keep this part if you just
made made it much, much smarter. And funny."

"I'm having difficulty telling the difference between these two
"Well, Jay has blond hair."
"Yeah, um, that wasn't really what I meant."

"This part kind of reads like a bad college guidebook."
"Like Barron's?"
"No. Like one that didn't get published."
"The Princeton Review?"

So now I have official orders. And strategy. I have to turn in the
new ending to the book at the end of next week, all of the vignettes
(my book has vignettes!) by the end of the following week and then
make all of the changes that we talked about in this meeting before I
turn it in to my advisor and reader on April 18. For anyone not
keeping track at home, that's eight extra days that I didn't think I
was going to have! I can write at least infinity words in eight days,
so that has taken some of the pressure off. I now have time to play
the Big Cat in several games of Stratego (editorial note: I am VERY
good at Stratego. And it's cheating if you surround your flag with
bombs) and occasionally shower.

Also, March Madness starts today. Everything--for the time being--is
coming up Milhouse! Kevin. I assume this will change in the next 36 hours.
Onward. I hope your weekend is chillaxed yet intensely fulfilling.

Gettin Jiggy,
Wit It

Will Smith

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