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Narrative Structure

Closed
A closed narrative is where the audience knows that they are watching an ordinary story. For
example, there is an opening, then the introduction of characters, a plot, scenario, solution and
finally a happy ending. The audience has the ability to predict the end of the story based on its
themes and its opening. The film or story can often have characters such as the common villain and
a hero.

There are not many main characters, the importance of the characters depends.

Time is usually very short and over a long period of time, this means they only include important
scenes.

For example:

 Titanic
 Gone in 60 seconds
 Snakes on a plane

Open
in a film with an open narrative, the ending doesn’t make sense, there isn’t a proper ending and it
leaves the audience making predictions. The timeline is more chronological. Films like this have a
huge intense cliff-hanger that keeps the audience thinking and making their own ending of the film.

For example:

 The grey
 Hacksaw ridge
 Taken 2
 The A team
Multi – Stranded
The characters in the film have a different storyline and it all makes sense at the end of the
film. The film is developed alongside the story of the characters and at the end of the film it
is understood how the characters relate.

 Into the woods

POV
The term point of view, or POV for shorthand, refers to who is telling a story, or who is
narrating it. The narration of a story or novel can be told in three main ways: first person,
second person, and third person. E.g. unknown
Plot Devices
Plot twist
A plot twist is an unexpected scenario or development in a film, the audience doesn’t know
what is happening. A plot twist is created by giving the audience misleading information and
withholding clues which may or will give away the film.

MacGuffin
This is a technique used to display some goal or an ambition that the character wants to
achieve in the story, the technique is used throughout the whole of the film and explains to
the audience the principles of the film and the story.

Deus ex machina
This was first made ion Greek and roman theatre. This type of film is usually made for
tragedy films. It is made to “resolve” complicated or even hopeless situations in the plots of
films.

Red herring
A red herring can be used to distract or diverts certain information or subject from an
important or serious element of a story. The technique can be used as a logical fallacy or a
literacy device, because of this the audience may be led to make false conclusions; this
makes the story more interesting for the viewer.

In media res
The term in “medias res” is Latin for “into the middle of things”. The device is where an
important part of the story is entered, usually in the middle of the film where a climax is or
has developed.