Branwen Kellow: A Novel and Critical Reflection on Unreliable Narrative in Long Form Fiction
thesisposted on 30.05.2017, 10:53 by David Wharton
This is a Creative Writing PhD, composed of a novel, Branwen Kellow (approximately 84,200 words) and a Critical Reflection (approximately 23,000 words) with appendices (approx. 8,000 words). The novel tells the story of a professional psychic who believes himself to be the only honest medium in the world. He is drawn into the search for a young woman who has gone missing several years previously, and consequently into a crisis that forces him to re-define himself and his past. The Critical Reflection explores the production of a literary text in which the writer seeks deliberately, but not overtly, to emphasise the inherent unreliability and artificiality of narrative. It is divided into three sections. In the Introduction I consider the nature of Creative Writing as research. The second section is an account of how I wrote my novel. I consider the three key elements of the process: planning and research, developing a narrative structure and controlling style. Throughout this part of the commentary, there is a particular focus on textual ‘reality’ and how one’s awareness of the future reader might affect the act of writing. Finally, in the section titled ‘Looking Further’, I discuss an additional piece of small-scale questionnaire research I undertook, inspired by my own experience of writing a novel.