Lying To The Audience – Use Of The Unreliable Narrator


As I was thinking about a future project the other day, I began to consider having the story told by an unreliable narrator. Not necessarily in a huge, plot-twisting, Fight Club sort of way, but definitely to mislead the  reader somewhat. I’m hesitant, though, because it’s a tricky thing to pull off. But when it’s done right, it really is quite effective. I suppose by the time I actually start working on it I’ll have a better idea of whether or not I want to go ahead with it, but I’m curious if anyone else out there has used the unreliable narrator in their projects, and how hard was it to make it work?

Meanwhile, an update to my previous post Editing – Boy, Does It Ever Stink : In that post, I boldly claimed that I was taking one last pass through my mostly-finished novella (titled I Hate Switzerland, by the way), and calling it DONE, not to be looked at again. And again, more experienced writers go ahead and fire up your laugh machines…I’ve already read through it four more times, tweaking a choice word here or finding an awkwardly worded phrase there. I’m going to give it a little time to rest, then go back and see if I can read it through without changing something. If I can do that, I’m done. Say, I just realized my Editing post was written by an unreliable narrator! I’ve brought this post full circle. 🙂

Published by Kenneth Jobe

Kenneth Jobe is a writer, photographer, musician, and Native Californian living in the Midwest with his wife and son. His fiction has been published in Jitter, The Rusty Nail, Ghostlight: The Magazine of Terror, and the horror anthology Robbed of Sleep, Volume 2.

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