Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Jeffrey DeShell

Second Advisor

Martin Bickman

Third Advisor

Marcia Douglas


This is a book of beginnings. It consists of twelve individual stories, each of which is re-begun multiple times, and a handful of beginnings that have no ties to anything that come before them or after. A number of the threads have beginnings told at different times from different perspectives; others begin again and again from the same perspective each time. A few of the threads overlap with one another; many remain distinct.

The thesis explores in the way in which stories, ideas, and concepts change as we go about writing pieces of fiction. Those ideas and concepts merge and depart so that what starts as an individual story or concept feeds in to another, or what is part of a larger story leads off into a life of its own.

The thesis also plays with the way a story begins. A story can begin anywhere, so what constitutes a beginning and how does a beginning influence the way we read or the way we write? How much is a story dependent upon a beginning? How does the beginning introduce us to a story and therefore color our perception of what the story will be? If the beginning changes, how does that affect the characters or the ideas? And, can a story be told through only beginnings? Do you in fact learn things about these characters? Do you come to know them and their desires?

Finally, the thesis explores yearning and what happens when yearning becomes pathological--what effect that pathology has on the mental states of those yearning and on others.

Included in

Fiction Commons