I am so sorry that it has taken me such a long time to post on here. I think my last post was in May, which is the longest I have gone without saying anything. But I have, I hope, a valid excuse.
Yesterday I posted off two spiral-bound copies of my dissertation, and therefore completed my last piece of work for my MA in Children’s Literature with Roehampton University. It was the culmination of three years’ study and I must admit that, even though I spent the best part of a year preparing for and writing it, I found it as exhausting as my undergraduate Finals at Oxford nearly 20 years ago.
I chose to do the Creative Dissertation, rather than the Academic Dissertation, which involves writing a piece of work aimed at a child or young adult audience. It had to be 15,000 words long and accompanied by a critical self-analysis of my own work, linking it to the world of children’s literature.
My piece of work was a long short story called Beyond the Grave, a ghost story based on the Victorian and Gothic traditions. At first I wrote it for middle range readers – those who are confident readers but not yet stepping into young adult fiction. However, after around 20 versions (and nearly as many nervous breakdowns! 😉 ) it progressed into something quite different and became, I believe, more of a young adult piece.
While I have had many sleepless nights, I really enjoyed writing the longest piece of continuous prose I have ever attempted. The work won’t stop there either – I want to develop the story into something longer – a complete novel or at least a novella. I will work to do this once some time has passed as I feel the need to regain my sanity. In the meantime, I really hope I pass the MA!
From now on I will be posting more regularly on here and take up where I left off. Thanks for your patience and I hope you’re all enjoying the summer!