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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


Set up/Act I

Conflict/Act II

Resolution/Act III


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.

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

Telling the story

Directors interpretation

Collaborative effort