In a little over a week, I will officially begin working on my graduate thesis. Which is completely terrifying. Mostly because I have yet to decide what I want to do. So instead of spending the next two weeks freaking out about it, I decided to ask for your help. I really value the opinions of my readers (you guys have raised some really awesome points on book reviews or discussion posts), so I’m curious as to what you think about the direction(s) I’m heading in, or if you have any better ideas. Because let’s be honest: there are always better ideas.
First off, a brief overview of my assignment. Since I’m getting my MA in Fiction, my thesis involves one of two things: I can either complete a collection of short stories or a portion of a novel. I’m not sure which direction I want to take. I’m leaning toward short stories, but only because I think it might be easier to complete (or at least for me to view it as complete). Although I am definitely more inclined to write novels than shorts in general.
Here are my ideas (so far):
The first is kind of a dystopian novel in which the ruling class uses technology to remake themselves into personifications of the Greek gods and oppress the masses. The story centers around one of the new generation of “gods”, which have been basically manufactured in a lab, rather than genetically modified: Athena. She kind of starts to see how corrupt Zeus is, and runs into Hades, the leader of the “human” rebellion, and the story goes from there.
My second idea for a novel isn’t quite as fleshed out, because it’s a bit more recent. Basically, I kind of wanted to write about a magic university with a very diverse cast of characters. This idea kind of stemmed from the characters; they just kind of popped into my head one day (the main character is a cute, feminist African-American girl, who befriends a deaf girl with strawberry-blonde hair and a tall, cocky Asian upperclassman, and they have to fight some as-yet-undetermined evil). I like the characters and the setting, but this story has (as yet) no villain or major conflict. Something I can work on, but I don’t have as much of the story living in my head as the first book.
My final idea is a short story collection about what happens after the fairy tales end. I haven’t decided if I’m going to go with the popular (Disney) versions of the stories, or the originals (which might be difficult because basically everyone dies), but I think it might be fun to work on this. Just off the top of my head, I could write about the Little Mermaid having trouble acclimating to the human world, the seven dwarves being depressed after Snow White leaves to marry prince charming, what happened to Cinderella’s evil stepmother, etc. This one’s more of a fun project, but I’m not sure if it’s thesis material.
I would really love to hear your input on this! I am extremely indecisive, and this is causing some major anxiety (as if I wasn’t already worried enough about having to write a grad school thesis). Any and all questions, comments, constructive criticism, and totally different ideas are welcome! Thanks in advance – I’m excited to hear what you have to say!