Narrative Structures

Published March 11, 2015 by Laura Crean Author

I thought this may be of interest to any of my followers who are looking for ways to plan their stories and like me may often get a bit lost half way through…

Park Language Lesson Blog

As a bridge between interviews and monologues, we looked at two models of narrative structure: Labov’s oral narrative framework, and Freytag’s triangle.

Labov interviewed people on the street in big cities in the late 60s and 70s, asking them to tell a story about a time they nearly died. We tried this out in class, practising note-taking for the key details (as we may have to do as interviewers, especially when chasing up follow-up details in the ongoing drafts of our IV CW). Labov found, and we confirmed this (with some variations and caveats), that narratives made up by people on the spot followed these functions in roughly this order, if they were to feel complete and make a successful impact on the listener:

  1. Abstract — an introductory outline about the type of story to expect;
  2. Orientation — setting up who’s involved, when, where, and what was going…

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