Research: Narrative Structures

What is a narrative:

A narrative is the ordering of structure: time, events, people, places. This then makes it easier to make sense of what is seen and what is assumed through past experience.

People naturally seek structure (Beginning, Middle and End) and narratives have been used to make sense of things like stories and fairy tales.

The purpose of narratives in media is to compress time, recognisable, allow characterisation and make the media genre specific.

Linear: In order – beginning, middle, end

Non Linear: Not in order – end, beginning, middle.

Narratives depend on disruption and resolution in the right points of the structure so that the change affects the characters – e.g. disruption in the middle  resolution at the end.

Most narratives follow a similar structure:

Exposition – Rising Action – Climax – Falling Action – Resolution.


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