Narrative structure examples

Narrative structure refers to the elements of the construction of a story. This includes the plot, characters, theme and resolution. The most general example of narrative structure is the introduction, buildup of conflict, climax, and resolution.  An example of good narrative construction that highlights all these elements is found in the movie Wall-E. In this movie, the main character, Wall-E is established in the setting of a ruined earth. His personality and personal conflict with loneliness are explored, and then upon the strange encounter with the foreign machine from space, begins the rise towards the climax of the story, spiralling Wall-E into a myriad of situations and conflicts. At the climax of the story, Wall-E saves the day, but at the cost of his memories. In resolution of this story, Wall-E, by some miracle regains his memories and gains a partner, establishing a new normal in which his personal struggles are resolved. This strong yet somewhat formulaic plot outlines to me the essential elements of an understandable story. This example covers the entire plot of the movie from memory and with reference to

Reference: Stanton, Andrew, Jim Morris, John Lasseter, Pete Docter, Jim Reardon, Thomas Newman, Ralph Eggleston, et al. 2008. WALL-E. Burbank, Calif: Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

Reference: “WALL-E (2008) Synopsis – Plot Summary – Fandango.” Fandango. Accessed August 21, 2016.

Another strong example of narrative structure would be that shown in an animatic for one of the scenes in the movie Monster’s inc. This example makes use of excellent storyboarding to show the plot of the scene. The throughout the images that make this animatic, there is the introduction of the scene, and an easily followed plot displayed. This example of narrative structure is most effective to me, and allowed me to clearly envision the scene.

Reference: Docter, Pete, Lee Unkrich, David Silverman, Darla K. Anderson, Jill Culton, Jeff Pidgeon, Ralph Eggleston, et al. 2002. Monsters, Inc. Burbank, CA: Disney Enterprises Inc.

Reference: Storyboarding Exercise (Monster’s Inc). July 8, 2010. Accessed August 18, 2016.

Yet another strong example of narrative structure i have found is a storyboard Hit the Pros 2004. This storyboard is very well presented, including arrows to direct the movement of objects throughout the scene. The use of arrows indicating camera movement and angle, along with the implied lighting though shadows amongst other  filmic conventions make this storyboard again easily understandable and effective. To me, this stands as a good example of what a proper narrative structure should reflect and what i should try to emulate in my storyboard and final project.

Reference: “Hit the Pros – 2004.” Storyboarding. Accessed August 21, 2016.

My last example of strong narrative structure found online is a storyboard made by Jasmine Walls titled VS Tournament Gaming. This storyboard is yet another good example that i believe highlights the requirements for an understandable story. It covers movement of eyes and camera, and also has detailed explanations written up for each scene in said plot. The general focus on the presentation of things such as camera positioning and positioning of foreground and background gives this narrative construction allot of depth that appeals to me. I believe that i should attempt to make use of a similar format and structure to my storyboard, and aim to highlight the filmic conventions as this one does in an understandable way.

Reference: Storyboard for VS Tournament Gaming (blog), February 25, 2016. Accessed August 19, 2016.


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