I had a very productive meeting with my supervisor today. Well, I've got my marching orders. In four weeks, I need to submit an introduction and a chapter plan for my transfer paper, which will either make up a large portion of Chapter One or will be all of Chapter One and a section of Chapter Two, depending on how I ultimately decide to split the material up.
This is a bit frightening. I mean, I realize I'm here to write this thesis, but it's really quite daunting to actually be on the cusp of starting. I've committed to submitting a rough draft of the 10 k transfer paper for the end of term, which is, if you recall, only eight weeks away. Ack!
However, I'm also feeling quite excited to be starting. I've been thinking about this project since Autumn 2010, when I had to come up with a research proposal to submit with my PhD applications. Since then, I've read a gargantuan amount of Bronte material, criticism, other Romantic and Victorian writing, and done a fair bit of thinking. Up until recently, I felt like I was looking at a pretty amorphous mass of small ideas and a great deal of material - 6 volumes of early prose and poetry by Branwell and Charlotte Bronte, as well as goodly chunks of Anne and Emily's poetry - and not having much idea of how to wrestle that into one or two original, solid chapters.
That's changing now, thank goodness. I think I've picked up the major threads I want to follow through the Brontes' works; I have some ideas about how sibling collaboration and influence worked; ways to structure material are beginning of present themselves to me.
But it's really begun now and I have a real, live deadline to meet. Better get moving.