Positioning and characterisation

Now getting to the end of the piece I am writing. There is no way I can miss the deadline of the end of this weekend. It’s good that I have the PowerPoint notes of what was I think quite a good conference presentation that the paper is based upon. However, building in my new ideas about blocks and threads has continued to be problematic. The good thing is that I am learning more about the concept in trying to do this. To make it work though, in the last part of the paper, I have to make a lot of decisions about how to arrange the material. There are people and their thoughts that need to be positioned alongside things that I have recently read. I have to create new characters that can best represent the thinking that continues to develop as I write. And all the way through I have to do this in a way that also forces me into seeing things in a different and better way. There are two protagonists and an event. The event is becoming clear in my mind; but I have to look for names for the characters that will lead both the reader and myself to think differently about it.

This is the sort of creative process that all writers of qualitative research need to get into. It is also so important to be able to talk about it. As supervisors too we are supposed to demonstrate the process of doing our research to our students – to try and lay bare our craft for them. It helped me so much to explain what I was doing to my student in our tutorial yesterday – and also trying to make it relevant, I hope, to what she was doing. Arranging complicated material, finding the best way to represent it in text, and keeping the right balance between our own and other voices.

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