Introduction to Narrative (The study of stories)
The structure/shape of the stories
- The big events that push the story forward, causing the characters to act / react.
- When and how important story information is revealed.
- How the audience is positioned in the story & when we learn important narrative information
The characters & their narrative function.
The themes/messages that the director wants to communicate.
- The development of the main character(s) & their epiphany
The role of the narrator in highlighting the themes (if applicable)
The significance of setting to the story
The 3 Act Narrative Structure
Here is a cool video about the narrative structure of films which are about the adventures of a heroic figure in a typical Hollywood adventure film.
Here is an info-graphic from this video from Ted Ed.
Task 1 – Describe a simple narrative
Use it to think about the basic narrative structure of a film/story you know well, a fairy story like: Cinderella, Snow White, Jack & the Bean Stalk… or if you don’t know those, a Pixar movie like: Monsters Inc, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E…
Remember the story mountain? Apply this in reverse to the story that you have chosen and explain the basic structure of that narrative.
Create a timeline of your own with five stages (use screenshots from the film if possible) Identify the five key stages of the narrative:
- Ordinary World
3. The journey or quest.
4. The final struggle or epiphany
5. The restoration or return
Task 2 – The Journey and the Theme
Consider the last two slides in the show above. In your story, who changes, how & why? What do they realise and how does this epiphany reveal the theme of the story?
Add this to your poster in either stage 4 or 5.