This is the first update on my EPQ that I have made for a number of months, due to the sheer extent of work that I have been putting in to the project on top of other aspects of my life. This blog post will serve as a summary for the work I have done since my last update, and my plan for the summer holidays which starts on Friday 21st July (this week).
Despite having been incredibly busy, I have been able to manage my time effectively and am still on track to completing my project comfortably within the deadline. This is due to certain changes that I have made to my project, particularly focusing around my working title.
In previous updates, I mentioned that I was adapting my working title to focus more on the marketing of the novel as opposed to the writing itself. Whilst this looked good on paper, under closer scrutiny I realised that this plan could not realistically be achieved in such limited time. As of today, I have less than 3 months before the final deadline for my 1000 word report, which of course would require my artefact to be completed in full. Knowing that I can’t possibly write a novel and launch a marketing campaign in that time, I have decided to revert back to a question similar to my initial idea, which focuses more on the quality of my writing and the social aspect behind it. The question I have landed on is the following:
To what extent can I tailor a dystopian narrative to the requirements of a modern audience?
To answer this question, I will be constantly referring to the survey results I collected in April, which highlight the requirements of my audience. On top of this, I have studied dystopian narratives dating back to the 16th Century to gain an understanding in the trends and developments in the genre. You can view the timeline I created by clicking on the link below:
From this, I found that modern dystopias have a heavy Young Adult following, which is exactly the audience I am targeting with “Inauguration Day”. There are clear trends in the themes and literary styles of these modern dystopian stories, such as the use of 1st person positioning. This is clearly a style that modern dystopian readers are used to, and so I will explore 1st person writing in my novel.
After the terrorist attacks which hit England in May and June of this year – events which really hit home for me and, in some cases, affected me personally – I have made the decision to create a undertone of terror in the novel with the purpose to 1) allow modern readers to immediately relate, and 2) to raise awareness to the effect these attacks have on both society and on individuals, in the hope to start a conversation about it. Having studied modern dystopias such as Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games”, I have noticed that modern audiences as a whole like to embrace controversy; this was also evident in my survey.
EPQ Meetings: 17th July, 2017
Being the last Monday of the school year, I decided to meet with my Centre Coordinator and my EPQ Supervisor to discuss any last minute problems before spending 6 weeks writing.
Advice: Center Coordinator
After reading the first 6 chapters of my artefact, my centre coordinator was very impressed with the quality of the majority of my work, particularly the opening few chapters. However, she said that my writing quality does begin to slip due to having rushed to get chapters finished. This is something that I have noticed too, and it will be easily fixed through editing.
In our meeting, we also discussed:
- My summer holiday plan: Having devised a plan for my work over the summer holidays on Friday 14th July, I decided to bring this to the meeting to request a second opinion. My center coordinator agreed that it was a realistic plan, though suggested that I should begin formally working on my 1000 word report during August as opposed to September.
- Publishing: I have been certain from the very start of my project that my artefect will be a published novel/novella. However, I am finding that, in order to get the reviews to begin working on my report, I will need to publish within the next month to allow enough time for my audience to read the book and write a review. This time frame is becomingly exceedingly unrealistic, as where I stand (18/07/2017) I will need to write 15 chapters in 2 weeks. That equates to an average of 30,000 words. To get around this, we discussed a Dickens-inspired weekly publishing system. This not only allows me to get an accumulation of reviews over time, but it also means that I will be able to take in feedback and requests as I go along. This will allow me to tailor the novel to the audience’s requirements even further, making my artefect more successful with regards to the question.
My supervisor has been amazing in keeping me motivated and inspired for my project, and seems confident that I am on the right track to completing my project comfortably within the deadline. She agreed that honing my question in and reverting to the old objective was a sensible idea, and is happy with the plan that I have made for the summer holidays. I also discussed the weekly-publishing idea with her, and she agreed that this would be an interesting and sensible alternative to publishing in full straight away.
As of today, I have completed the Mid-Project Review on my CRF and am halfway into the novel. I have also started looking into graphic design for he front cover, which – although seemingly small – will be vital for targeting a specific audience.
I look forward to seeing how this all turns out!