S30BE – The Unreliable Narrator

Not every narrator in a story needs to know everything. They don’t have to be omniscient, nor does the knowledge the get and share with the reader need to be accurate. You can, instead, have what is known as an Unreliable Narrator. This is when the narrator – whether intentionally or not – is deceiving the reader in a way that skews how the story is perceived. It’s not until the end that the unreliability is discovered and the real truth comes out.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course, such as the example of Odd Thomas we gave in the introduction of this episode. The narrator could be aware of their unreliability and share it with the audience for some reason. In most cases, though, there is something the narrator wishes to hide because it paints the story in a way that favors them. This is true in stories such as Gone Girl.

Having an unreliable narrator lends itself well to genres such as mystery, crime, and psychological thrillers. We discuss how to use this trope in this bonus episode. Listen now on Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts.

First aired March 26, 2022.

About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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