A discontinuous narrative, often known as a non-linear narrative, is one that hops around in time rather than exposing events in chronological order. The most common form of this type of story is the flashback.
Discontinuity can also be achieved by changing points of view or locations. A character's point of view can shift between scenes or within a scene, while different locations can indicate past, present, or future events.
Finally, continuity can be broken by using foreshadowing or other means of indication. If something important is going to happen but not revealed until later, then it can break the illusion of continuity.
These are just some examples of how narratives can be discontinuous. There are many more ways in which stories can be structured! As you can see, it is possible to tell interesting tales with any number of gaps in knowledge about what has happened before and after the present moment.
A non-linear narrative recounts the story in fragments. It is also known as a disturbed narrative. In general, this format tells the tale in a non-chronological sequence. It is not rare to encounter a story in which events are not presented in a cause-and-effect manner. A nontraditional narrative is best used when trying to describe an experience beyond what traditional storytelling can offer.
Nontraditional narratives include: fables, myths, legends, anecdotes, and stories from history. These types of narratives are popular because they can reveal important information about life that would otherwise be overlooked. A fable or parable is a narrative with a moral lesson at its heart. They were originally intended to teach children right from wrong, but now we know that they can also help adults understand themselves better by looking at their own behavior through the eyes of someone else. There are two main types of fables: animal fables and human fables. Animal fables use animals to represent people or ideas. For example, "The Lion, the Mouse, and the Cat" teaches us that no one man is more important than the team as a whole. Human fables do the same thing except that they use humans instead of animals. For example, "The Emperor's New Clothes" tells us that no one person is so important that they cannot be replaced.
Myths were once real stories that had many authors over time.
Nonlinear narrative, disjointed narrative, or disrupted narrative is a narrative technique used in literature, film, hypertext websites, and other narratives in which events are portrayed in ways other than chronological order or in other ways in which the narrative does not follow the direct causality pattern of...
A nonchronological narrative is a type of narrative in which the tale is conveyed in a nonchronological sequence. Instead of beginning at the beginning of time and presenting events in the chronological sequence in which they occurred, a nonchronological tale may work its way backwards or bounce about in time. These types of narratives are common in myths and legends.
Nonchronological narratives can also be found in historical accounts where the story-teller or writer chooses to forgo a strict sequencing of events in favor of presenting topics that are important to the history being told. For example, during the reign of King George III (1760-1820), there was much debate among politicians and philosophers about whether our country should be more like an aristocracy or a democracy. Since both systems have problems of their own, some writers decided to combine elements from each system to create a new government called the "Federal Republic". This novel government concept was proposed by James Madison and others as a solution to the problems they saw with both an aristocracy and a democracy.
Nonchronological narratives can also be found in novels where the author wants to show the effects of certain events on different characters. For example, one could write a nonchronological narrative about how the death of a loved one would affect several people. The writer might choose to start at the end and work backwards to reveal what happened to each character over a period of time as a result of this single event.
A continuous narrative is a style of storytelling that depicts numerous scenes from a story in a single frame. Several events and scenes are depicted in a single visual field with no separators. The term was coined by American cartoonist Walt Disney in a 1951 interview with journalist John Brooks. In this interview, Disney said, "A picture is worth a thousand words. So a film is really two thousand words or more." Thus, a continuous narrative film presents an extensive scene-by-scene account of some event or series of events.
Continuous narratives can be divided up into three general categories: documentary films, experimental films, and fiction films. Documentary films present a straightforward account of actual events that took place in the past. Experimental films generally follow a unifying theme or idea as they depict different scenes from the same movie. Finally, fiction films tell a story plotted out by the writer/director; they may include actors playing different characters at different times during the narrative. Writers can also add additional scenes or changes to their screenplay after filming has begun but before release.
Some filmmakers have used continuous narratives as a means of commentary on society or history. The term was first used by Soviet filmmaker Vsevolod Pudovkin in his 1929 book Cinema Technique.
A narrative is also one technique to go from one scene to another by recounting chronological events that have occurred across time. A narrative summary may also be a descriptive summary since you are eloquently describing the events, people, and things.
A circular or cyclical narrative is one that concludes in the same location where it began. Although the beginnings and endings of the story parallel one other, as do the opening and conclusion of an essay, the narrative almost never leaves characters or events untouched. As with most stories, a cyclical narrative involves action, reaction, more action, etc.
Cyclical narratives can be found in many cultures around the world. Ancient Greek and Roman myths are examples of this type of storytelling. So too are Chinese legends such as The Journey to the West, which tell of the adventures of a monk who travels across China seeking enlightenment. Modern equivalents include the Ring Cycle by W. Wagner and J. Maeterlinck. These works use mythology as a basis for discussion topics or essays about humanity's need for spiritual guidance.
Cyclical narratives are common in children's literature. For example, Peter Pan lives forever because he cannot grow up. Jack and his magic beanstalk enable us to see the dangers of greed. Toys that come to life (or that we dream come true) challenge us to face our own mortality. Cyclical narratives help us understand that what starts out small can become a large-scale event that has far-reaching consequences.
Cyclical narratives can also be used as a plot device in novels.