The Unreliable Narrator

More work on material for the upcoming site update.

Last night I had a dream that was extraordinary because it was so ordinary. There were no bizarre circumstances, no flying, no oddly skewed things happening. Just some stupid behavior on my part that disrupted everything around me before I woke. There wasn’t even enough of a threat for my lucid dreaming to kick in and wake me up. What made the dream so vivid was its ordinaryness.

Occasionally I have a dream that might inspire a bit in a book or a short story or something – or I think it will. Off the top of my head I can’t think of one idea that came to me in a dream that came to fruition in a writing project. But this dream last night was so cinematic, it was almost like a high concept preview of a relationship novel.

What is interesting about this whole situation is something I found in a book I have been reading on songwriting. In separate interviews with Tom Lehrer and Randy Newman, the author discusses what is called “the unreliable narrator.” This is where the person narrating the song carries a skewed viewpoint of the world, to the point where they don’t see the wrongness of what they are saying – although those listening to the song certainly can.

I became fascinated with this concept, and decided that at some point I want to do a novel from the POV of an unreliable narrator.

Now it’s possible that this dream has given me a plot to attach to the concept.

I’ll have to see what else sticks to this idea. Who knows where it will lead?

NP – David Bowie, Changesbowie


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