Blog Fiction: The Relational poetics of a Distributed Narrative Form

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This analysis explores blog fiction as a distributed narrative form, and the relational nature of the reading and writing processes that shape its poetics. It does this primarily through the analysis of Bad Influences1, the blog fiction that forms the creative part of this thesis.
Bad Influences tells a disaster story distributed over four separate fictional blogs, exploring online identities, friendships, and how our relations to the world and our communities are shaped by the stories we tell about ourselves. Jill Walker Rettberg's ideas on distributed narrative are used to investigate blog fiction's distributions in time, space and authorship, and how these affect its narrative time, linearity, interactivity and poetics. The processes of writing and posting Bad Influences, and engaging with its readers, show how the use of the blog as a medium determines the characteristics of blog fiction as a form, and how the relations that emerge between readers, writers and the text produce, in Aukje van Rooden's term, a relational poetics.
This analysis concludes with an application of relational poetics to blog fiction and digital interactive fiction in general, touching upon emerging forms of fiction on social media platforms (e.g. Twitter fiction and interactive multiplayer narrative apps), in which relational processes are an essential component of the text, rather than simply a means to its access.
Date of Award20 Apr 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorAILSA COX (Director of Studies) & PETER WRIGHT (Supervisor)


  • blog fiction
  • digital fiction
  • digital literature
  • distributed narrative
  • relational poetics
  • new media
  • hypertext
  • interactive fiction
  • collaborative fiction
  • epistolary

Cite this