Unreliable Narrator

I recently started delving into a new genre of writing – adult/new adult fiction. When writing my recent manuscript, I decided to use an unreliable narrator. Thought I would pass on websites that provided definitions/examples I found helpful. Thank you Writer’s Digest and Education Portal. Happy writing!

Text from Writer’s Digest article:
When we select the first person we’re tempted to write as we speak. This can lead to undisciplined writing, potentially yielding rambling or flat, one-dimensional prose.

The tradeoff, though, can be authenticity. “There is no such thing as a third-person viewpoint in life,” Morrell explains. Which means you might say first person POV is the most true-to-life perspective from which to tell a story.

First-person narrators can be unreliable narrators (and often the best ones are), leaving what happened open to interpretation—and, in the hands of a skilled writer, this can add amazing depth to a story, as evidenced so expertly in the best known works of Mark Twain and J.D. Salinger. Stories like theirs demand to be told in first person—in fact, Morrell points out they could not be effectively told in any other way.

His key takeaway? Write in first-person only if you have a compelling reason to.
http://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-goal/improve-my-writing/understand-the-ins-and-outs-of-first-person-pov

Education Portal definition/example:
Unreliable narrators are a type of first-person-driven narratives that give the audience the opportunity to make their own interpretations of a story.
First-person narrators are characters within the story telling the events of the plot from their perspective. Sometimes these characters deviate from the truth or have mental conditions that limit their abilities to tell the story accurately. We call these characters unreliable narrators.
Definition
An unreliable narrator is a character whose telling of the story is not completely accurate or credible due to problems with the character’s mental state or maturity. Some literary critics argue that there is no such thing as a reliable first-person narrator since every character is affected by his or her past experiences in the telling of a story, but most first-person narrators attempt to give the most accurate version of events. An unreliable narrator, however, holds a distorted view of the events, which leads to an inaccurate telling of the story, but this can give readers/viewers a chance to offer their own interpretations.
The term ‘unreliable narrator’ was first used by Wayne C. Booth in 1961 in The Rhetoric of Fiction. Since then, many authors and filmmakers use the technique to create interest and suspense in their narration. Some indicators that a narrator is unreliable include contradicting stories, incomplete explanations of events, illogical information, and even questions of the narrator’s sanity.
Modern Novel Examples:
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl actually uses two unreliable narrators. The book is told through alternating accounts of Nick Dunne and the diary entries of his wife, Amy Dunne. Since their version of events in their struggling marriage conflict, the reader is unsure of which character to trust. It is later revealed that both characters lie, which makes both of them unreliable.
The above text/definitions/examples were taken from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/unreliable-narrator-definition-examples.html#lesson

Personal Essay

The purpose of today’s blog is to repost an article that helped me as I wrote a personal essay.  I feel this article reaches beyond personal essays and applies to all writing.  Thank you once again Writer’s Digest for the great article and your inspiration.

http/www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/how-to-write-a-reader-friendly-essay

Inciting Incident

Inciting incident is the spring board that drives the story forward – causes your protagonist to act.

This week in my writing critique group we had a great discussion about inciting incidents, where they should occur in the story and can you have more than one.

Below is a great article I found regarding inciting incidents from The Editor’s Blog.
Please see the link to the Editor’s Blog an always useful source of information.
http://theeditorsblog.net/2013/06/16/making-something-happen-in-story/

Not only is this a great article, but the responses are also very thought provoking.

Hope this blog helps all the aspiring writers out there. I would love to hear your comments on inciting incidents.

Narrative Exposition

This is one area as a writer I am always working on perfecting.

Here are a few ways I found to introduce important background information/world-build my stories through:

Dialogue

Character thoughts

Background details

Information dump

For myself, as a children’s writer, the first two seem to work the best along with sounds and scenery description.

Two books which recently assisted me are The Secret of Nihm and The Tale of Despereaux.

I would love to know your suggestions on children’s books that helped you world-build.

How to Create Your Own Children’s Writing Niche – One Simple Technique

In my never-ending search for writing tips, lessons, and ideas, I came across the below website that recently sent me this interesting article. I have posted the link below. Thank you Children’s Book Insider for sparking my imagination.

How to Create Your Own Children’s Writing Niche — With One Simple Technique (via http://writeforkids.org)

I was watching my new favorite comedy show — Kroll Show — last night and had a revelation about the creative process.   This episode featured a particularly hilarious installment of the sketch Wheels, Ontario, a delirious spoof on Canadian culture…

Read More

Writing is a trip to the amusement park

When I think of writing, this metaphor comes to mind.

Writing is a trip to the amusement park.

  1. On sunny days, ideas flow through your mind like people at a crowded park.
  2. When it is rainy, ideas like rides shut down.
  3. The process of writing and a roller coaster are filled with exhilarating moments, steep hills to climb, thrills, twists and turns all to get your plot on paper or your body back on the ground.  At times you want to throw your arms in the air and scream.  Other times you hold on tight to your thoughts.
  4. Sometimes you feel all alone, strapped to your thoughts like being strapped into the sky coaster and being hoisted high in the air.
  5.  Your characters are the riders, each adding to the thrill.  You are your own protagonist.
  6. There is kiddy land, the spinning, twisting rides for YA and plenty of rides for the young at heart.
  7. The sweet smell of fudge, cotton candy and fries – the sweet smell of a book deal.

 

Active not Reactive Characters

I was thinking about how to make my characters active not reactive when I came across this wonderful blog. It is from The Editor’s Blog.  See link below for the full article.

Make fictional characters suffer by pushing them beyond what they thought they could take. Give them challenges and then have them overcome those challenges.

via Dare to Challenge Your Characters.

Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse

Writing for Children

As I walk/run down this roller coaster experience of writing for children, I am learning, learning, learning.  I have just finished my first manuscript and am preparing for a meeting with an editor to revise, revise, revise.  One thing that I am also finding is the support of so many groups out there who are experienced writers.  This help is greatly appreciated.

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