Hello fellow writing nerds. I have a series idea that I am toying with that has one character that ultimately goes insane (this downward spiral is brought upon her largely because of events, once those are eventually dealt with she'll get out of it as much {as much as one can}). There will be times where readers experience events from her perspective early, before the big turning points occur. As she falls into becoming an unreliable narrator, I want to show that change over time through things like thought patterns and word choice. But even without any specifics, I'm wondering -

When it comes to reading from an unreliable perspective, what throws you off balance and entices you? And if that's too opinion-oriented, then: What are some tools you have used or seen (these could be writer's craft related, text format/appearance, anything) that effectively convey a character with an unstable mind?


Nel here! I think that would be interesting! About the insane character... Stick with her for the first few chapters then, even if she isn't insane yet, change perspective early in the story! You can get the reader used to changing perspective if you start early in the story. Instead of titling the chapters in a way that hints what comes next, you can use the name of whomever the perspective. That way, they know who's perspective it is.

As for reading from the insane character's perspective, show her slowly starting to go insane. Make the reader notice her change in thought in mood before she does. Say she is a bubbly, happy-go-lucky character, then her thoughts and mood change, and she starts to have trouble without noticing it. Since you have been changing perspectives throughout the story you can switch to a friend or lover of whom you have visited before. That person notices something is wrong and keeps an eye on Mrs.Insane. When the character cant hold it together, then real problems start to happen from her perspective, like hearing things and hallucinations. You can build from there!!!

Have fun with it!

  • Love your energy Nel! Good thoughts, good thoughts... Thank you. She actually does start out as a relaxed, fun, no-filtered person. And yes, I will definitely have fun with it. xD – Tasch Jan 18 '20 at 20:28

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