|For Graduate Students|
Concerned that your advisor doesn't 'get' your work? That your advisor's suggestions reveal a lack of understanding of your genre? That the direction you are getting is just plain wrong? As with any other doctor, you want a second opinion before going under the surgeon's knife. Get an objective appraisal from a disinterested third party.
There are two possible outcomes:articulate your vision in a way your advisor can understand, and so work out a compromise you both can live with
give into your advisor's demands (well, wouldn't hurt to learn how to write in a second genre, even if 'real literature' doesn't pay as well1 as SF.) SFeditor.ca can help you feel better about it all by working with you on your SF novel while you complete your creative writing thesis with your advisor.
publish pieces of your novel as a series of short stories — or if you are close enough to done, as a novel — before you defend. It's difficult for a committee to fail a work that has already been published, especially if it has received positive reviews. (Not impossible, mind you, but that's why there are appeal processes....)
(1) Your advisor may be right. It is human nature to resist direction, especially if it means extra work. But at some level, you really do want your work to be as good as it can be, and that may mean taking the advice of your advisor (and now your editor) to push through to the next level.
(2) You may be correct. There are many anecdotes of top SF writers being told by their capital 'L' Literary professors that SF is inherently inferior and so being directed to write 'real literature' instead. In such cases, SFeditor.ca may be able to help you with one of the following strategies:
Or, perhaps you have a sympathetic advisor, but you just don't seem to be getting the advice and support you need. SFeditor.ca can help. Many instructors provide excellent advice, but do so from the perspective of a professor, rather than within a student's frame of reference. SFeditor.ca may be able to help you interpret the advice you are receiving and thus improve communications with your advisor.
Many advisors take a lassez faire approach to advising, believing that if you want to be a writer, you should just go write. This can be frustrating for both parties, as the student repeatedly turns in drafts that the advisor cannot accept. SFeditor may be able to provide you with ethical supplementary developmental editing to help you meet your advisor's expectations.
|For Thesis Advisors|
Do you have a student whose writing just doesn't seem to be getting any better? Is your student resisting your direction and accusing you of not understanding the student's "vision"? SFeditor.ca may be able to help:
If a student is arguing that you "just don't get" genre fiction, send them to a genre expert for a second opinion. Since good writing is the foundation of any fiction, justifying sloppy work behind a genre label just won't wash. Let a development editor confirm your diagnosis and give them the straight talk they need to stop making excuses and to get down to work.
Lack of Progress:
If a student is not making progress and you have already done everything you feel you can, before advising them to withdraw or failing them out of the program, give the student the option of consulting an experienced development editor. Tutoring is always a legitimate alternative to failure. As a 25-year vetern of academia, SFeditor.ca guarantees that all help will remain within strict ethical limits.
Supervising Outside Your Field? Supervising a student writing speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, etc.) but concerned that genre expertise is a little thin on the supervisory committee? SFeditor.ca may be able to help:
Improve Committee Representation
Dr. Robert Runté may be available as an external committee member (at no fee) in his capacity as SF editor and academic.
Identify genre-relevant elements
Unfamiliar with the SF genre? SFeditor.ca can provide confidential consultation to help you identify the genre-specific problems that may not be immediately apparent to someone not well versed in the history, trends, context and allusions of the SF cannon.
Low expectations for SF?
If you are wondering whether giant ants or armies of elvian warriors really might be de rigour in SF, ask your student to get the $90 appraisal on their first 30 pges and synopsis. Let SFeditor.ca identify the unacceptable clichés, worn out conventions, and internal contradictions in logic that no SF editor could approve. Say 'no' to giant ants, angst-ridden vampires and yet another school for wizards.