So we pepper the kid with questions that don't really have good answers while the kid clings to any aspect of the story that may somehow get him off the hook. Then..... they start talking. That's when things get interesting. You get a story that has no real beginning or end with plot twists that not only catch you off guard, but have absolutely nothing to do with anything that's ever happened. Your kid is in trouble for hitting with a shoe and you're talking about just about everything but that.
When the conversation gets cloudy like this, you're in trouble. It's probably not going to end where you want it to. The more the kid talks you away from his actions the less likely he is to make a connection when you implement a consequence. Here's what I mean.... if you're talking to a child about something that just happened and find yourself sifting through stories that don't really connect with what you're discussing, the kid is now taking you on a wild ride through Blamesville and my guess is that by the end of it he will have convinced himself that he's only in trouble because some other kid did something wrong or because you're mean. You will have made whatever connection needed to be made, but the kid didn't follow you because he talked himself off the map completely.
You may tell me, "I'm fine. Even when he talks the story all over the place I know what he did wrong and that's what he gets in trouble for." Great, but you're not the one I'm worried about. Your kid is confusing himself and is far less likely to connect the consequence to his actions when he's spent 5 minutes digging for things that someone else did wrong.
I'm here to help. This is something I do with kids on a regular basis and lately, I've used it with a few adults (but we'll get to that later). It's one of the simplest things I do. I keep a stack of dry erase boards in my office. They're 12 inch by 12 inch squares so big enough to be seen but small enough to avoid being intrusive. As a child is telling me a story about something that got them in trouble, I quietly hand them a dry erase board and marker. Then before they get too far into the story, I ask them to draw a circle.