All aboard the Edit train – departing: constantly

This morning as I sat on the train into Uni, planning out the day of intense editing that lay ahead – I felt some unease as I thought of the considerable amount of work that I still have to do, with just over three weeks until the submission deadline…

However, as i discovered from the process of writing out my previous blog post, which became a creative writing piece that likened the task of heavily editing down my thesis to fighting out a war: it does make you feel somewhat better when you can externalise your anxious thoughts and set some clear goals about what you want to achieve next.

I am coming to terms with the fact that my paper, as it currently exists, is much too long for an Honours thesis.. and at least until it has been considerably cut down to size – i have to refrain from doing too much writing, so I don’t overcomplicate the editing process for myself.

I am going to need to leave some ideas behind entirely and start swinging the editor’s axe more ruthlessly if I am to meet the submission guidelines required, because no matter how hard I try to condense the entire paper with small and fiddly edits here and there – it is still going to be too long, and may overwhelm my examiners.

This is certainly a process that I can learn a lot from. My supervisor has reiterated the fact that editing your own work effectively is an extremely demanding task.. and it is precisely the reason that professional editors stay in business! But i am determined to fulfill the needs of the task to the best of my abilities..

Deciding what needs to be left behind is the challenge.

In my paper, which explores the development of concept albums and their ability to reflect the technological and socio-cultural contexts of their time – i have attempted to provide a chronological framework that traces the concept album from the 1970s through to the 2000s. I begin with an introduction, followed by a literature review, and then providing case studies of releases from each decade (4 chapters), each of which explores the two streams of thought mentioned above. My conclusion should then tie everything together and propose a guiding criteria of considerations that contemporary artists can keep in mind when pursuing the release of a concept album in the 21st century.

The structural challenges i have faced throughout the semester, which led me to present my case studies and contextual writing in this way have been discussed in a few of my earlier posts – and while i feel that this structure works nicely and makes a lot of sense – the amount of words required to cover each component of my research in adequate detail has forced me to reconsider my structural options once again.

I will pick up on this in my next post, after another busy day of editing today.. The stress levels are creeping up again just thinking about what to do with my thesis structure from here – although i think this blog post has on the whole done the job of making me feel a bit better and more focused for the day ahead.

Maybe some metaphorical inspiration will hit me in time for my next blog post as well, so as to spice things up a little bit! A laugh here and there never hurts.. Choo Choo!

The Edit Train

The Edit Train

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About simonwoodhonours

Simon Wood (Honours in Media and Communication) is an RMIT student whose specialist discipline is in the 'contemporary music industry'. For his honours study in 2013, Simon will be researching the ‘concept album’, and its significance within the contemporary music industry.
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