What Is a Narrative?

The narrative is the story, it is most precisely how the story is told when the audience watches it.

Types of Narratives

Linear narratives

Linear narrative is where the story has a beginning, middle and an end which is extremely common in most films. This creates the tone and theme of the story, followed by the action, which leads to the story’s climax, followed by the falling action and the finale.

Image result for lone survivor

Hey U Guys, No Date

The story is about Marc Luttrell and his team who sets on a mission to kill the leader Ahmad Shah in late June 2005. After walking through mountain herders and capturing them, they were left with no choice but to follow the rules of imprisonment. Marcus and his team are left with no choice but to fight for their lives. This is a film that has a beginning, a middle and a end. We can clearly see the it is a linear story, because even though it starts when Marc is injured in a helicopter, the rest of the film starts from the beginning before it happened.


Non Linear narrative

In non linear narratives, the story is not just about the beginning, the middle and an end. Often, the order is deconstructed in a way that reflects the character’s psychological state or the theme of the story


Blogpost ( No Date )

This film is non-linear because it starts in the present moment where Forest is getting the bus, then we talks to someone about his past, it shifts to his childhood and what happened before. This goes on for about 2/3 of the film. Once this finishes, the story goes back to the present day and it carries on from there.

Single Stranded narrative

Single stranded narrative is one story being told. There are no other stories during the film, so it focused on the character only.

Image result for the bucket list

Quotes Gram, No Date

This film is about 2 adults who has cancer. They only a few months to enjoy every moment oftheir lives before they die. So they create a list called the Bucket List, which is a list of exciting things they can dowhile they still live.This is a linear story as thereis a beginning, middle and an end.

 Multi Stranded narrative

This time it has multiple stories being told that is all linked in one. The audience this time would not only be concerned about the action but also the action of each sub plots in the film and how they link to each other.


Reading Agency ( No Date )

Eastenders has a multi stranded narrative as there are so many problems within an episode so it opens to more stories throughout the series.

Open Narrative

Open narratives usually have many characters but without an ending that we would see. These are narratives that can take many episodes or films, to keep people watching.


Longo, Chris, 2011

The series of 24 has multiple episodes where each beginning of every episode follows from the ending of the previous one. This makes the audience want to keep watching it to the end, tension keeps adding within each episode.

Closed Narrative

This is the opposite of open narrative. This time there is a definite ending. Usually films with a closed narratives, take about 2 hours. There is usually a soundtrack, a lot of non-diegetic music to back the story.

The Last Stand ( 2013 ), Youtube Video

This film is a closed narrative. This film is about an officer becoming a sheriff who wants to live a peaceful life in Sommerton Junction. Although things turn nasty when a crime lord called Cortez escapes prison and embarks on a long drive to reach the Mexico border, The sheriff with his colleagues have to protect their town at any cost. This is all enrolled in one film. There are no sequels following that.


  • Voice Over
  • Idents – Texts on Screen
  • Diegetic and Non-Diegetic


Voice Over

This is a piece of narration in a film or broadcast which is not accompanied by an image of the speaker. So we can’t see the person speaking as if it was a dialogue which gives us more information. A most famous example is with Morgan Freeman who does loads of voice overs in many of his films.


These are the text on the screen which you see during the film to tell a date or the location of somewhere. This is gives the audience an indication of where or when the scene is happening.

Diegetic and non-diegetic

Diegetic sound is sound that is visible on the screen like the voices of the characters or the sounds made by objects for example. It can also be the music coming from the instruments in the story space. Non-diegetic is sound that is neither visible or that has not implied to be in the action. The examples of those are the voices of commentaries, sound effect which is added for dramatic effects and the mood music.

My Story

My story is a closed narrative, so there will be a definite close

The story starts in Paris, France where 2 best buddies, Richard and Pierre are embarking on a holiday trip to New York. Once they arrive there, they seem very excited and they are enjoying their first few days of their days in New York. What they do not know is that there is hurricane coming to New York in a few hours. They ignore the warnings of the hurricane and carry on with their drinks and enjoying the splendid view of Manhattan. In the next few hours, they start seeing the grey clouds approaching but are still ignoring it. Once the few drops of hard rain starts coming and the gust of winds, people started running for shelter. Pierre and Richard are wondering why they are running. So they run back down from the Empire State Building. In the next 30 minutes the wind and rain is already 5 times stronger, the 2 best friends are getting worried and so they are trying to find some place for shelter but finds that everything is packed, so they are asking someone to borrow their car so that they can escape. But things get much harder as the centre of the Hurricane reaches New York. Buildings are getting destroyed and rain is flooding some areas. New York feels like a labyrinth to them. It is nearly impossible to find their way out. For the next few hours they are still unable to escape, they ask for people but no one would answer. The hurricane is destroying everything in its path, making it harder to escape New York as there are trees and buildings in the middle of the road. They give up at the end, so they try to find shelter somewhere else. After minutes of searching they managed to find a place to stay while the hurricanes calms down. After 15-30 minutes of waiting, there was a scene of utter destruction in each side they go to. It was impossible to leave New York for a few days, so they had an idea. They went to the Empire State Building, right to the top of it and they cheered for both of them being alive and admired the view of New York once again in a very different atmosphere.



Batema,Cara,Available at: http://education.seattlepi.com/linear-narrative-6001.html, Accessed on 12/10/2016

Film Sound, No Date, Available at: http://filmsound.org/terminology/diegetic.ht, Accessed on 13/10/2016

Hey U Guys, Available at: http://www.heyuguys.com/images/2014/01/Lone-Survivor-UK-Quad-Poster.jpg, Accessed on 18/10/2016

Hosler-White, Holly,https://prezi.com/a86vxyy2cm3d/open-closed-multi-strand-linear-and-non-linear-narratives/

IMDB,No Date, Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/plotsummary, Accessed on 18/10/2016

Kai, Morgan, ( No Date), Available at:http://classroom.synonym.com/literary-term-nonlinear-narrative-1816.html, Accessed on 12/10/2016

Longo, Chris, 2011, Available at: http://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/24/113213/24-returning-to-fox-for-limited-run-in-may-2014, Accessed on 14/102016


Richard Crouse, No date, Available at: http://www.richardcrouse.ca/the-last-stand-3-cheesy-stars/, Accessed on 12/10/2016

Reading Agency, No date, Available at: https://readingagency.org.uk/young-people/eastenders.jpg, Accessed on 12/10/16

24 Spoilers, 2011, http://www.24spoilers.com/2011/04/01/24-series-netflix/, Accessed on 12/10/16

Wallis, Andy, 2010, Avaible at: http://www.slideshare.net/andywallis/narrative-5865177,Accessed on 11/10/2016

Quotes Gram, No Date, Available at:https://quotesgram.com/bucket-list-morgan-freeman-quotes/, Accessed on 18/10/2016