Okay, so I got the (Ex)Advisor’s comments on my chapters in the mail today.

I had to open them up and skim them right away, just to make sure that the last (or first) page didn’t say, “…and that’s why you should withdraw from the program immediately…”

Fortunately, I didn’t see that phrase anywhere in my quick skim.

I’ll say this for the (Ex)Advisor; the guy gives good comments. Five pages, single-spaced–PLUS annotated printouts of the chapters in question.

Good things, from my preliminary quick-skim:

  • He thinks I “write well” and that the chapters “read easily,” which is good, I guess (unless he’s calling me simple?).
  • At no point does he advise me to quit, or suggest that the whole project is a giant load of crap.
  • Despite dropping the ball often and failing me in certain ways, he’s a very nice guy. I appreciate that his comments are critical, but always constructive.
  • He’s such a good freaking writer that even his comments are interesting. (On the other hand, he’s *such* a good writer that I am frequently stunned into a temporary writing-silence when reading his work.)

Not-so-good things, from my preliminary quick-skim:

  • I sent him the third completed chapter a few weeks ago, but he’s only read and commented on the two I sent in December. I’m not sure if there’s a delicate way to ask if he’s read the third chapter and has comments on that, too–or if I should give it another month or so before I nudge him on that.
  • The revisions? They will be many, and large. They will, as I suspected, be rewrites, more than revisions.

So, now what do I do? Do I keep picking away at chapter 4, even though I have no idea what I’m doing there and no direction at all on it? Or do I start to address the revisions/rewrites of chapters 1 and 3 (the ones he’s commented on)? I suspect that some of the issues he’s seeing in these two chapters will be things I’ll need to address and change in chapter 4, as well, so maybe going back to those chapters first makes more sense? Honestly, I have no idea. I know a lot of y’all have dealt with/are dealing with this kind of thing…advice?