This story, Taking Root, was in its brainstorming stages back in the summer of 2016, while the actual writing began in the fall of the same year. Since the beginning, I considered this my own “coming out” story, a full-length novel for and about queer people. I had dabbled with the inclusion of queer characters in short stories before, but they were shy attempts compared to Taking Root. Although I had considered writing outside of my genre comfort zone for my first longer story with queer characters, going a more traditional slice-of-life young adult route, in the end I wanted to write what I wanted to read: queer characters in a fantastical setting. Influenced by similar genre pieces, I tested my hand at a different type of fantasy and horror, where there is less violence and more of a haunting, unsettling experience. Considering the character’s struggles--and, perhaps, my own, too--this was easier said than done. Self-discovery is never an easy or enjoyable process, but that is essentially what this story is about, as well as the acceptance that hopefully follows. Anxiety and tension is a part of that process: at the beginning, with self-denial; in the middle, where there is an inner struggle against the self and an outer struggle of finding a safe space; and the ending, where the discovery is acknowledged, regardless of what is done with that knowledge. Taking Root depicts four characters, and thus four different ways of maneuvering through this self-discovery process, and the tension it creates between themselves and their environment along the way.
Garrett Nichols (Thesis Director)
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Cribben, Caitlyn. (2017). The Self and Society: Critical Reflection of Taking Root. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 201. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/201
Copyright © 2017 Caitlyn Cribben