ONLINE The Unreliable Narrator: What Should Be True?
Unreliable narrators are great fun! They might be tricksters or liars, or simply oblivious and unobservant. Or, as novelist Upton Sinclair famously said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” However, when writing an unreliable narrator, no matter how slippery that narrator is, the writer must know what is true. The trick is to write your narrator in such a way that a) the clues the reader needs are interspersed throughout; b) the reader feels engaged, not cheated, when the truth is revealed; and c) the reader’s pleasure is enhanced when they read the story a second time, now with the truth in mind.
Those are some tall orders—so how do you accomplish it? In this mini-workshop, we’ll look at examples and try writing some unreliable narrators of our own! This workshop is perfect for beginner and intermediate writers of any length or genre.
This is an interactive online class using the Zoom web platform.
Heather Osborne writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. She earned her doctorate of creative writing from the University of Calgary, and she is associate editor of the International Review of Science Fiction. Her first novel, Songbroken, is forthcoming from Forest Path Books (2022).