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The problem of time and unreliability in first person narration
2

AliceScarlett · 09/12/2018 15:31

Hi all,

Any tips on how to handle this?


I have an unreliable narrator, she is ignorant of her motives in the beginning, her character arc is one of self discovery.
Its all well and good for her to only tell what she knew at the time, but in that case she cant explain her motives because she doesn't know them. How can readers connect with her and her goals if they are unaware of her motives?

Halp :(

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WaterBird · 10/12/2018 05:41

Hi OP,
I'm not sure how far along you are in what you're writing. But I think in order to solve that problem, you could write it in multiple points of view. The second person could be a parent, friend, or someone else who already knows the situation.

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TippetyTapWriter · 11/12/2018 20:18

Often the reader is smarter than the character. Think of romances where it's clear the character is in love though they don't know it themselves. Can the reader guess your character's motives even if the character can't? Or, depending what sort of a story it is (how unreliable the character, how much of a twist ending etc) go with what the character thinks her motivations are (whatever she's doing she's surely motivated by something at the moment, or she'd just be a shell). If you've created an interesting character in an interesting situation the reader will travel with her on the journey of self-discovery.

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