Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Communications and Arts

First Supervisor

Dr Marcella Polain

Second Supervisor

Dr Ffion Murphy


This Creative Writing thesis consists of an original novel, titled Carousel, and an exegesis examining the practice-led method of writing without a narrative plan.

Carousel explores the lives of four young adult characters who find themselves trapped inside a giant shopping complex in post-apocalyptic Perth. A central creative decision that informed the process of writing Carousel was to write without knowledge of the narrative destination. Within this research, I have termed this practice ‘writing into the dark’.

The initial focus of the exegesis is to define and explore what it means to write into the dark. Here the exegesis utilises writing theory from authors including Margaret Atwood, Maurice Blanchot and Alice Flaherty, alongside interview material from writers such as Stephen King, Katherine Heyman and John Marsden, to analyse this creative method and distinguish it from other writing practices such as working to a predetermined narrative plan.

Following this, the method of writing into the dark is examined within the specific parameters of selected post-apocalyptic literature by Cormac McCarthy, Justin Cronin and Douglas Coupland. Here the exegesis speculates that a link may exist between the challenges of writing within the post-apocalyptic genre and the adoption of an ‘into the dark’ writing process.

Finally, the exegesis provides an insight into the specific details of my own creative processes in writing Carousel. This section sheds further light on the possible relationship between the process of writing into the dark and the post-apocalyptic genre.

Access Note

Access to this thesis is restricted to the exegesis.