Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to Write an Unreliable Narrator

In the last couple of weeks, I've been mulling over an idea: how do I create a narrator who is a flat out liar, but still relatable somehow (yes, Blogger, relatable is a word!)? I want to try to write a story in which the narrator contradicts him or herself constantly, leaving the reader guessing as to the truth of what is happening. Has anyone written or read something like that recently?

Obviously, I turned to Google and came up with some great articles on the subject:

What is an Unreliable Narrator? 1) Why are they unreliable? 2) Why is it important to the story? 3) How noticeable is it?

Seven Types of Unreliable Narrators: Is your narrator lying out of self-preservation? Is he or she a psychopath? Is he or she simply heavily biased in some way? This is a great starting point.

Using an Unreliable Narrator:  The narrator must provide information, but it doesn't necessarily have to be correct. Dun dun dun!

8 Tips to Writing Unreliable Narrators: Use secondary characters to hint at or highlight the narrator's unreliability.

Truth and Lies in Fiction: Flesh out your character. And remember not to cheat the reader.

There are a million more articles on this topic, but these ones are the ones that stood out to me. They've each got different tips for writing such a narrator, so I'm saving them here for later. :)

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