Finishing my PhD


I intend to finish my creative writing PhD this year. At the moment it looks like a daunting task because I have to finish my +80 000 word historical novel plus a 20 000 word reflective essay. Every time I have to write the first person ‘I’ to articulate my personal views it freaks me out. I prefer to depict the world through fictional characters and here I have a task in the reflective essay to writer about MY experience in writing this novel.

To help me I have been searching for PhD essays in creative writing. So far I discovered one by Emma Lucie Darwin at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. In her abstract she calls her reflective essay ‘a critical commentary on the process and context of writing’. In reading her comments I have become more confident, it appears eminently doable.

Her project is similar to mine in that it is also a historical novel with a parallel narrative which tells two or more stories. My novel links three narratives and was difficult to write until I separated the three story lines and developed them separately. I was so busy developing links in theme that the one story overwhelmed the other two!

Since I separated them I know where each story is going and have listed scenes which make it much easier.
Have any of you written a parallel narrative? Please share your experience. I’m sure there are many writers out there who could learn from your trials and failures.

Last but not least:
If you know of any other helpful PhD Creative Writing reflective texts please let me know.

#writerscommunity #amwriting #historicalfiction creative writing PhD, reflective essay

4 thoughts on “Finishing my PhD

  1. Though not a PhD reflective essay, you might be interested in Donald Hall’s “Essays After Eighty.” In one essay, regarding writing personal essay, he advises: “avoid the personal pronoun when you can–but not the personal.”

    I recorded the quote in my commonplace book when I read the essay and still regard it as invaluable insight. Best of luck to you~


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