A narrative is a story and how it’s told. There are different types of narratives that I will explain later.

A narrative includes a plot and sometimes a plot twist.

Linear Narrative

A linear narrative has a beginning middle and end. It is the most common form of narrative. A linear narrative always starts at the beginning then proceeds to the middle in order to end up at the end.

Non-Linear Narrative

A Non-Linear Narrative like a Linear Narrative has a beginning middle and end however it doesn’t start at the beginning then go the middle and end up at the end. They change the order by using flashbacks and flashforwards. Non-Linear Narratives usually start at the middle or climax of the story then use flashbacks to show how they got there.

Open Narrative

Open narratives are usually used in soaps. It is when a narrative does not have a conclusion or end. Cliffhangers do not usually come under this category as they still have a vague end. Open Narratives are multi-stranded. They also don’t use much music.

Closed Narrative

Closed narratives are the opposite of open narratives and have a definite ending point. Almost all films have a closed narrative.

Realist Narrative

A realist narrative aims to make the narrative have a realistic feel. To do this they use practical special effects and try to limit the amount of digital effects and green screen shots.

Anti-Realist Narrative

An anti-realist narrative  is a narrative that is not meant to seem realistic like Harry Potter. These narratives will use lots of green screen and digital effects and rely heavily on the editors to make the unrealistic story come to life.

Multi-Stranded Narrative

A multi-stranded narrative is a when there are multiple plots and storylines in one film. An example of this is Crash (2003). Open narrative TV shows such as soaps are also multi-stranded. Some more examples of multi-stranded storylines are Love Actually, Sex in the City, He’s Just Not That Into You and Valentine’s Day.

Voice Over

A voice over is a way of telling the viewers what is going on and can give them more information about the situation. Voice overs are usually done by the character on screen narrating his thoughts and feelings. It can sometimes be done by a dead character or just a narrator who isn’t in the story.


Ident is short for identification and is the text that appears on the screen. This is used widely in films to inform the viewer of the location and date it is set in. An example of this can be found at beginning of Fast and Furious 7 to tell the viewer that it is set in London, England.

MusicAreaHQ. 2015. Furious 7 Opening Scene EXTENDED [HD] Jason Statham. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRqxHOCvnpo. [Accessed 11 October 2016].


Diagetic is what the subjects of a narrative can hear. Like music or sound effects. Diagetic might be someone playing some music on the car radio while they are doing a car chase like in The Green Hornet.


Non-diagetic is when the subjects can not hear the music or sound. Voice overs usually come under this category. An example of when non-diagetic music was used is in Fast and Furious 7.

Some films can play on this and have non-diagetic sounds as diagetic sounds for example Stranger than Fiction.

Experience Blu-ray. 2009. Stranger Than Fiction trailer. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26FBhM_pjoc. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

Todorovs theory

Todorovs theory is a theory that Tzvetan Todorov came up with which is based on narrative. The theory sais that every good narrative should start and end with an equilibrium. The theory sais

My Short Narrative

I came up with a short narrative using Todorovs theory. Its starts with an equilibrium and then there is a disturbance. There is recognition and then it goes back to an equilibrium again.

(Equilibrium) 5 Friends are sitting around a garden table. They chat for a long time before getting in 2 Land Rovers and driving off. They dive up to a high rise building and gaze up at the top floor. Entering the building the 5 friends start walking up the stairs. (Disturbance) A security guard calls out and they slowly turn around. Slowly one of the friends pulls out a pistol and shoots the security guard. They run up as many stairs as possible, running into multiple security guards who all ended up dead for doing nothing but their job. All the friends had revolvers in their hands as they stormed into the office of the top floor. The room was empty. the 5 friends started searching the room quietly. Ten minutes had passed before one of them whispered “I’ve found it”. In his hands, he held a bomb capable of blowing up a city. They ran down the stairs with the bomb in their hands. They got in their Land Drovers and drove off. (Recognition) Later that day 5 people walked into a police station and claimed they had stopped a terrorist attack on new York. They brought in the bomb and it was disarmed. After further investigations is was discovered that the 5 friends had saved millions of lives. (Equilibrium) A few years later the 5 friends are sitting round the garden table discussing the story to their children.


Holly Hosler-White. 2013. Open, Closed, Multi-strand, Linear and Non-linear narratives. [ONLINE] Available at: https://prezi.com/a86vxyy2cm3d/open-closed-multi-strand-linear-and-non-linear-narratives/. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

Julie Thrasher. no date. Open & Closed Narrative. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/8332770/Open-Closed-Narrative. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

media s and k. 2011. Sophie And Kieran. [ONLINE] Available at: http://sophieandkieran.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/realist-narrative-anti-realist.html. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

M.T. Wroblewski. no date. What Is a Linear Narrative?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://classroom.synonym.com/linear-narrative-1805.html. [Accessed 11 October 2016].

Stavros Halvatzis. 2015. What is Multistrand Narrative?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://stavroshalvatzis.com/story-design/what-is-multistrand-narrative. [Accessed 11 October 2016].