writing process

On Change

Nguyen - On Change 1As always, summer breezed straight past me, and I can’t even believe it’s August. I’ve already switched into full denial mode where I refuse to think about how school is coming up so soon. With all the work I spent on my project over the summer, and time divided between friends and jobs, everything seemed to move by so quickly. But after each day ends, another begins. Another challenge to face along with failures and successes. As the sun sets on the summer behind me, it’s a bit sad and exciting. I have found confidence in my own writing and my own progress, no matter how fast or slow it comes. It will be exciting to see how my pieces will continue to grow and change during the fall.

Now, it’s time to switch gears and jump into Resident Assistant duties. I won’t have much time for a break with work starting for me on August 12, so I’m trying to enjoy the idle moments. With first-year students moving in soon and the whirlwind that is orientation week, time spent writing by myself will be a luxury. I’ll miss these quiet moments, living in the world of my characters with only their voices to fill my skull, but I’m ready to embrace change, and both the highs and lows that come with it.

Nguyen - On Change 2
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Big Bite: A Student’s First Novel

Creative writing major Eleanor Haglund has written plenty of short stories and even one novella before, but never tackled something as long and involved as a novel. Until now.

Haglund, a Humanities Scholars Program student with a psychology minor, has embarked on writing her very first novel. She spent the summer figuring out just how to do this as part of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Honors Fellowship. The fellowship allows students to get a head start on their Senior Honors Program thesis work.

eleanor presentationHaglund presented her work so far earlier this week – about how her story switched focus and how she made so much progress (100 pages written and counting!)

“My novel is a coming of age story about a girl in college,” Haglund said. “The girl is struggling with school and her family as she comes into her own. It’s totally fiction.”

Haglund was advised by English Professors Kevin González and Jane McCafferty not to outline as she began the writing process.

“But I love structure and schedules, so I freaked out,” Haglund admitted.

However, she said by not having a pre-determined path, so many doors opened for her.

“I would have focused on events and plots – and wouldn’t have focused on characters,” she said.

Haglund said that she needs to write every day, and even blogged about her quest to find the perfect location. But she’s writing and not looking back.

“It’s really hard to revise a large project as you’re going, so I plan on revising later,” Haglund said.

She plans on having a completed first draft by November.

“Then I will start with what Jane said, ‘re-envisioning what I’ve put down,’” she said.

Learn more about her novel.