That nice big line you draw under the bottom of things and say: 'Finished!' My degree is done.
The last 5000 words was on the strategies Toyota use to maintain market position. Nothing to do with being a writer? Well, no, actually. The hardest thing in an essay (I think!) is to come up with a thesis. You have to decide what you want to say then hang all the other stuff around this spine - the clearest example is with my last essay, a mere 3500 words on the building of Holyrood. I decided that had they done risk assessments all the way through, and acted when important milestones were missed, they might have come in on time and in budget. Each paragraph in the essay talked about what happened when they didn't do this, and what happened to other parliament projects such as the Welsh one who did risk assess. Any material that didn't fit this main thread got thrown out. Sometimes sadly because I'd done loads of research. With a bigger essay, and material one's less familiar with (Toyota!) it's harder to find this spine. But a good spine is what gets you good marks, and sales.
Writing a book is exactly the same, and I think finding this theme or premise is the hardest thing about writing a book. All books need a spine running through them. The plot of the book might be about a heroine opening a business and trying to do well, and that sets a lot of scenes for you, but if your theme is that honesty is the best policy, then that too sets a lot of scenes and characters for you. Robert McKee talks about this in his book story - he charts out all kinds of variations. For example, if honesty is your theme, then pushing this to the limit gives you a character who lies to themselves. I might dig up his book and review it again.
Anyway, the wonderful thing is that give or take a day's training in Preston, a hospital appointment to check out the blind spot in my eye and an application to Burnley College, I am free to get back to The Find a Man Campaign.