Ross School - Senior Projects 2012


Student: Isabelle Turits

Mentor: Clare Wolfe

Domain(s): English

Faculty Grader: James Earle


Documentation of Product


Title: Luna’s Story


For my Senior Project I transformed an original 12-page short story into a novella of 110 pages. Luna’s Story encompasses characteristics of science fiction, fantasy and realism in the contemporary setting of a destroyed New York City. Breaking the lock on her sealed basement door, 16-year-old Luna discovers another teenager who survived the destruction, but they must evade those who now scan the debris of the dead city. Hidden in the girl’s subconscious are reasons why and how this destruction happened—answers that she is only beginning to understand.



The image below is my novella’s cover design drawn by Geige Silver

. Description: Luna's StoryCoverpage.jpg 




Exhibition & Presentation Summary


I was very proud of changing an original 12-page science/ fiction short story, into a 110-page novella, the longest piece of fiction I have ever written. However, when composing my presentation, I realized I needed to make my audience understand that this project helped me discover specific techniques and rituals that evolved and eventually became my writing process.

Despite my inability to draw, I now understand that I need to sketch my characters before I can effectively weave them into my plot. I discovered that I am a better and clearer writer during the early morning hours as opposed to the afternoon when writing becomes an excruciatingly difficult task. Starlight, silence, and darkness, also heighten my imagination. During these moments, my story is more vivid and easier for me to alter. When only the moon watches, creating my characters and the world they exist in is the will of my story.   

 It took me a while to ignore the paralysis of writer’s block that stopped my creative thoughts.  I accidentally discovered that listening to music helped. I found music which reflected the emotion of the specific scene I wished to write, facilitated the transition from an idea to a paragraph. 

Having a passion for writing is needed in order to commit seven months of one’s life to crafting a novella. Without it, the tedious challenges that come with developing a convincing, engaging and suspenseful, new reality can destroy any desire to write.  It is the first time in my life that an entire concept has transformed into a different aspect of its previous self, a truer version emerging from a trite shell-

 “It’s the journey, not the destination.” 

It is not about writing a story, but rather, learning what is needed to release a character’s personality within a complex narrative that mirrors the pains, disappointments, achievements and failures of the reader’s reality. Identifying idiosyncratic methods that allow one to explore, increases the ability to write a developed story, as well as overcoming shared and individual challenges.

During my presentation, I thought someone would ask,

 “What is the most important thing you learned from this project?”

No one asked this question, but there is no specific answer.  I needed each aspect of this process to happen in order to finish my novella:  the parts create the whole.

I originally wanted to create a self-published book, however, once I had a completed the first draft of the entire novella, my mentor and I realized that it was more important to incorporate edits that would strengthen the story. Since the editing process would be the most complicated and time-consuming segment of the project, we decided to print out my novella on fine paper and place it into an elegant binder. This is the current form of my final product.  It is displayed with both a copy of the cover design and the original drawing that is framed beside it.   




Bibliography or Works Consulted