Now that I’ve somehow gotten whatever lingering anxiety I had for Banyaga out of my system, it’s about time for me to focus on the next important thing I need to submit: the Thesis Proposal. Dr. Baytan was nice enough to submit the format one needs to follow in their submission, which is as follows:
GUIDELINES FOR THE THESIS/PROJECT PROPOSAL:
MFA Creative Writing
I. Proposed Title
II. Genre and Theme/Technique Addressed
Proposal Proper: MFA
The proposal must contain—in capsule form—the following:
§ Background of the Project. This can be thematic, genre-based, or technique based. In short, discuss the context/s of the work. This leads to the creative project.
§ Description of the Creative Project. What are you going to write? You are writing a novel about suicide, or a book of poems about art and space, or a screenplay about a domestic helper in Hong Kong . Give a good overview of the project. If it is a novel, what is the plot? If it is a book of short stories, what would the stories be and in which mode will they be written?)
§ Coming into Writing. How did you discover the Word? Why did you become a writer? Which aspects of your personal background led you to creative writing?
§ Tradition. Discuss the tradition of writing you are coming from. If you’re doing doing feminist poems in English, you must discuss the development of feminist literature in English in the country. If your novel is about doctors, you must discuss the tradition of writing in the country whose themes revolve around doctors or address the medical practice like the works of Rotor)
§ Poetics Discuss your take on the craft of the genre (poetry, fiction, drama, or nonfiction). If you’re working on fiction, what constitutes good fiction? Which technical questions will you be addressing in your project?
§ Creative Process Discuss important matters related to your writing practice (this is NOT important in the proposal. Not necessary at all). This should figure in the final thesis.
§ Works Cited. List at least ten primary/secondary sources (depending on what is needed) that you have consulted and you feel are necessary in your project. This should be annotated (meaning, give a one-line description of the work).
In a nutshell: What do you wish to write about? In what genre? What is the plot of this (if it is a novel)? What are its themes (for poetry)? What technical questions are you addressing (e.g., writing ten stories utilizing postmodern techniques and multiple points of view)? Why write about this theme in this fashion in this genre? Who are the writers who have produced similar work, and how will yours be different? What is your place in Philippine literature, or at least, where do you position yourself as a Filipino writer?
While at a glance it seems simple enough, one has to take into consideration the fact that the thesis submission is supposed to made up of at least five pages, and should actually be around twenty pages in length for a formal presentation. That’s a lot of details to fill in, and even with the guideline on what is expected in each section.
I’ve already done an Abstract, so I guess I could build on the details I set down there, that but it’s still going to be a bit of a challenge to get my point across… without sounding like a blubbering imbecile.