I had several wonderful topics selected last semester and even ran them by my second semester mentor, but in the end, the thing that I'm most interested in right now - and that I need the most help with, it seems - is Dystopian World Building. My first semester mentor, Steve Huff, ran a workshop this past residency and he introduced the idea to me. At first I thought 'isn't it a cop out to do a critical thesis on something so directly related to what you're currently writing?' and I also thought, 'but that sounds like too much fun, how can that possibly be a critical thesis?' But then I realized that the critical thesis should deal with your creative work and it should be fun! Thank you, Steve!
In preparation for this essay I'm reading many wonderful Dystopian novels. I just recently finished Feed by M.T. Anderson and am working on Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi, The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, and I'm also revisiting A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. I have several craft books that I'm looking at as well. My goal is to get the thing done in the next two months so that I can keep working on my creative work before hitting the final semester. Wish me luck!
Amanda LaFantasie (c) January 2014