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Narrative Structure by Mind Map: Narrative Structure
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Narrative Structure

Structural Framework

Order and manner in which a narrative is presented

Non Linear, Citizen Kane, Kill Bill, Acts are not in order, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Momento, Disjointed, Disrupted, Non chronological, No specific order to events

Linear, Narrative runs smoothly, Beginning, Middle and End. Three-act-structure, Chronological, Events happen in order of what time it happened, Most common form of narrative, Shawshank Redemption, Traditional three act structure

Multiple, One story told several different ways, Run Lola Run, Vantage Point, Same event from multiple perspective, Multiple storys centering on different characters, Pulp Fiction


Set up/Act I

Main Characters, Strengths/Weaknesses?, Lifestyle

Situation, Inciting incident

1st Stage of characterisation

Problem, Drives the plot forward

Location, Setting, Conditions

Genre, Should be made clear in the first act what genre your film is

Premise, Basic Story (What the film will be about)

Plot point I, Event occurs near the end of act 1 that changes the situation

Conflict/Act II

Longest Act, Bulk of the story

Link between beginning and end

Turning point, Sharpens focus of the main character

Character development

Plot Point II, Crisis Point, Take action to resolve crisrs, Countdown/time running out, Character focuses on goal, Higher sense of awareness?, Learn new skills

Resolution/Act III

Greater Obstacles, Determined to overcome these obstacles to achieve goal

Confrontation, Problem is at a boiling point

Loose threads are tied up

Climax, Biggest scene, Main character saves the day, Dramatic


First Person

For this narrator, it’s all “Me,” “Me,” “Me.” (Or, more precisely, “I,” “I,” “I.”) But it’s not that simple. The first-person narrator can be integral to the story, in which case they know only what they observe or discover. Alternatively, they can be a minor character, which may actually free them up to know more than the major players. The first person might also be once or twice removed from the story: They heard it from a friend or a friend of a friend (or some other indirect source). But keep in mind before you hire this applicant that it’s a challenge to keep the first-person narrator from telling too much, and that such a person is subjective and therefore unreliable. (Actually, that can be a good thing, dramatically speaking.) First person is an effective device especially for action-oriented genre fiction: detective stories, thrillers, and the like, because this type of narration keeps the reader close to the action and privy to the cogitations of the protagonist, who is usually trying to solve a mystery or foil a plot.

"Me" or "I"

Second Person

The second person (“You”) doesn’t get much work. You might think second person is the most engaging type of narrative, because it puts the reader in the thick of the action, but the device gets old quickly. However, it can be used incidentally, in a prologue or in one or more asides, cued by the first-person or third-person narrator.


Third Person



Dialogue carefully selected

Everything is woven into the story

Telling the story

Directors interpretation

Organisation, Score, Performaces, Production design

Oversees the different layers, Locations, Casting, Use of colour

Collaborative effort

Different departments and people


Everything you see in a film, Nothing is there by accident, Enchances the power of the narrative, Audience absorbs consciously and unconciously

Manipulates the viewers emtions

Construction of shots

Set design, Amplify moods and emotion in the film

Lighting, Effects how we see images, Shade, Intensity, Can empahise different aspects of objects

Space, Camera angles can alter how we percieve things

Costumes, Clear distinctions between characters

Acting, Slapstick, Tom and Jerry, Three Stooges, Deadpan, Comedy, Leslie Nielsen, Christopher Walken, Naturalistic, Dominant form of acting, Non-Professional, District 9 - Lead character is a non professional actor


Props as characters, Cast away, A real character or an indication of a mans psychology?, Deul

Characterization, Personality, Appearance, Motivations, Beahviour


Tragic Hero



False Protagonist, Character shield - main characters are protected by plot devices