Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Writing has always been a passion of mine and writing a novel has always been a goal. This thesis was the perfect way to bring passion and goals together. To achieve this goal, I worked closely with my thesis advisor, Kevin Carey, to meet a goal of 7-10 pages weekly and edit them along the way. After around 3 weeks of submissions and editing the smaller chunks, I would submit everything I had edited and he would re-read it and give me more notes on how to strengthen the story. This process went on for four months until I had the first 60 pages of a novel completed. I got the idea of the story from my distaste of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet because it is so unrealistic and an inaccurate representation of true love. The original play takes place over the span of three days and ends in teenage suicide, even though the main characters barely knew each other. I decided, instead of modernizing the play which many people have done, to take main characteristics of the characters and either enhance them, or remove them completely. For example, Romeo is more damaged and more of a womanizer in my thesis, while Shakespeare’s innocent Juliet is not-so-innocent which leads her to become a selective mute. Although the characters were originally based off of those from Romeo and Juliet, the story went in a completely different direction than the original. For example, Justin, my character with an enhanced womanizer characteristic, to try to figure out why Rose, my selective mute character, stopped talking while also trying to figure himself out. I learned that it is very difficult to write a novel, more difficult than I had imagined. I had to create a new place with believable characters who were interesting enough to read about. It was challenging to do this because I did not want the reading to become stale, but I also couldn’t make a story only about one small plot that could be resolved in under 60 pages. Professor Carey helped me to find a balance between the two and I learned that the setting and introduction to the story is just as important as the story and plot itself. In hindsight, I would not make any changes to this, I might edit it more, but it is something that I will continue to work on and hopefully publish in the future.
West, Colleen, "The Secret Of Her Silence" (2018). Honors Theses. 202.