On counternarrative

by look i have opinions

Rahul Kanakia on how he wrote his novel Enter Title Here:

“The way I like to think about it is, ‘What is the story that this character is telling about themselves? And how is that story being challenged?’

“I’ve started to see a novel in dialectic terms. It starts off with a character telling themselves one thing, and then a counter-narrative emerges to challenge it. For instance, my debut begins with Reshma telling herself that she’s smart and ambitious and capable of anything, including being a popular social butterfly. But then a counternarrative emerges: perhaps she’s not that smart; maybe she’s only a cheat. And those two narratives duel throughout the novel, with first one gaining the upper hand and then the other, until finally Reshma is forced to abandon her narrative and search for something new.”

This strikes me as a powerful way to create constant suspense. I usually think of suspense as something that hinges on a particular event and reveal, but why should it be?