I enjoy unreliable narrators in stories. As it is, you should never take what you're reading as the whole truth anyway (think of AVI's story, Nothing But The Truth. I thought that kid was a little punk ass anyway). Most people go into a story thinking, "Man, this character is totally telling the truth."
But everyone lies. Every single person walking this earth has told a lie. Hell, even my dog has probably told a lie. Chances are that your narrator (especially if the book is written in first person) has lied to you. Never, never, take a narrator completely at face value. (This is something I learned in my Shakespeare class in college.) Think of Romeo and Juliet, for example. She could have been the most epic rebound ever. They knew each other less than a day and were willing to die for each other? What kind of bullshit was that? Oh--and when Romeo met her, he was rebounding hardcore (poor lovesick pup), and was probably high. Have you really ever thought of this? Or do you typically just say "This story is so sad"? (Granted, I still think this story is EPIC, and I still think they loved each other despite these things.) All I'm saying is that when you read something, look into every sentence and think about what you're reading. (Is Bella really -that- into Edward, or is she enamored with the idea of living forever?)
My narrator in The Dying Process, I get the feeling is lying a lot. I feel like maybe she isn't as old as she's claiming, or that the world doesn't suck as much as she's leading me to believe (granted, it might...but I'm not sure). Can things really be -that bad-? She slips up throughout the story offering lies, half truths, full truths, which ties into the ending, I think. There are tid-bits that you have to catch as you go along. On principal though, even though I'm the one who wrote it, I think she's full of shit (even if I love her).
I write a bit of everything, I try to get some of it published. Most times, I get rejected. I submit again (to other places). Eventually, I get published. In the meantime, I complain about the hazards of real life. It's a process, really.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Unreliable Narrator
Posted by Lynn(e) Schmidt at 6:47 PM
Labels: Narrators, Perspective, Point of View, writing
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