Notes from 'week 1' Seminar

Published on by Ismael's Film Analysis Blog

Story, Plot and Narrative




  • Narrative is the art of storytelling, something we all do every day. It is an important part of our lives and something that we value highly, if you consider the amount of time we all spend in front of television and cinema screens receiving narratives . A narrative can have one or more plot-lines, that is, events can centre around one or more groups of characters. Some narratives are very tightly plotted, everything happens for a reason or a purpose and one event is the consequence of another, 'Fairy Tales' are usually tightly plotted.


  • Some narratives place less emphasis on the causal connection between events, though there are still plenty of events and actions. Instead, TV-Show episodes might be linked by a common character, such narratives are described as loosely plotted or episodic.

    (Biliorgraphy, Jonathan Bignell - an introduction to television studies - page 324 - narrative)


Storyline, Plot and the difference:


  • A films storyline is the underlying story of what is happening to the characters. the plot is the sequence of events during the story, told in the order you see it. For example, a film can be told out of chronological order, in order to give a particular emotional effect, for example, with flashbacks to fill in a characters back-story and the sequence you see them unfold onscreen is the plot. It has the same pieces as the story, but can be taken apart and rearranged for the desired effect.


  • In order to captivate an audience you have to pull them in, and the best way of doing that is by carefully planning the direction of the story or designing a plot.


  • In conclusion, the emotions and involvement of your audience depends on the characters that are created, the setting and the actual plot. All these elements not only illustrate a story but it takes the audience on journey. A journey through the character’s point of view, where the conflict and events where realized through the character’s perspective.


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