Visual Arts

Tells a story through a series of connected events or actions.

Media Arts

A chain of events in a cause and effect relationship occurring in time and space. It is created through the interaction of the narrative elements of setting, character, conflict and resolution.  

Narrative structure is the way the chain of events or cause and effect are manipulated to form a plot. (e.g. linear (beginning, middle, end), multiple plots, reverse chronological order).  

Narrative conventions is the use of repeated codes and techniques that contribute to the creation and construction of the narrative specific to each media type or genre.  (e.g. In a documentary, using interviews with a number of witnesses to establish information; the use of a chase sequence to show interaction between antagonist and protagonist in an action film; a third person point of view is adopted in newspaper articles)


The story of the play which includes an introduction, a conflict or complication, dramatic action, climax, falling action, denouement and conclusion. A play may feature several narrative threads (events that connect to one another) and some narratives may overlap and interact with one another in the course of a play.

  • fragmented time: Breaking up the narrative into parts that shift between pasts, presents and futures in non-chronological order but still enable the audience to piece together an understanding of what has happened.
  • leaps of time: shifts in the dramatic action ignoring the logical sequence and challenging the audience to create the sequence in their own mind.
  • linear narratives: Narrative where the events take place continuously and sequentially from beginning to end.
  • non-linear narratives: Disrupted or discontinuous sequence of events in a story, including flashback, flash forward and circular narrative structures.

Mythos: term proposed by Aristotle in his book “Poetics” in which he defines the narrative of the play as driven by different types of journeys. In all cases, the journey leads to a change in the central character either from prosperity and status to poverty and shame or the reverse with all events in the progression in a logical or sensible order.