How to Write Unreliable Narrators

How do you create a narrator your reader can't trust? In this course, you'll look at the ways in which an unreliable narrator can add intrigue, suspense, and drama into your narrative, and you'll experiment with creating your own unreliable narrators.

You will explore why you might want to have the character telling your story be someone the reader can’t trust, and discover how the issue of ‘reliability’ can be a thorny one.

You will learn how to:

  • Use your narrator to bend your narrative,
  • Craft a disinctive voice for your narrator,
  • Be economical with the truth to create a compelling plot,
  • Use form to your advantage when designing an untrustworthy narrator.
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Hannah Vincent is a novelist, short story writer and playwright. Her first novel, Alarm Girl was published in 2014 and her second, The Weaning in 2018. Her 2020 short story collection, She-Clown and Other Stories was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize. Her stage plays have been produced by among others, The Royal Court Theatre and The Royal National Theatre Studio and her radio play Come to Grief won a BBC Audio award. Hannah teaches Creative Writing on The Open University’s MA programme and on The Creative Writing Programme in Brighton. She holds a PhD in Creative and Critical writing from The University of Sussex and is an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund.