Narrative Structures

There are four types of narrative; Single strand, Multistrand, Parrellel, Non-linear and Linear.

Single strand narrative is where the narrative follows one story. There may be different strands, or different people telling the same narrative, but they all link back to one main story in the end.

Multistrand is where several narratives are being told at once, it’s usually used in soaps. For example, when families have different problems to over come. Sometimes, the stories do link back to others, but not strong enough for it to have a single strand narrative.

Parrellel narrative is where there are two stories going on, that don’t like back at all to each other. This structure is very rarely used, but it is still sometimes used in some films or TV programmes. They’re completely independant stories running at the same time.

Linear is where the narrative is in chronological order, and where the events are in a natural order of the day. For example, you get up, brush your teeth, go to college, have lunch, go home, and go to sleep. So, non-linear narrative is where it’s not in chronological order, they usually use flashbacks in the story.

Todorov’s Theory

Todorov’s theory is set out in three stages; Equilibrium, Disequilibrium and Resolution.

Equilibrium is where the story is normal, nothing has gone wrong and it is the normal life of the character in the story. They go about their daily lives as normal, and nothing stops that.

Disequilibrium is where something stops the normal order of their daily lives, it can be a big problem or a small problem. Anything that disrupts their natural life from working properly and easily.

Resolution is where someone has resolved the problem, and everything is fine. This makes a new equilibrium, it doesn’t result back to the first equilibrium, but it makes a new one where everyone’s happy and go about their daily lives, just maybe a slightly different way.


When we did our Emergency Services Museum there wasn’t specifically a narrative, as there was no story. But, I would class it as a single strand narrative as it’s all about one subject and one thing. I’d say there there wasn’t a disequilibrium, as it’s just a promotional video. So, this means that it was all in the equilibrium stage as nothing changed. The narrative is also closed because at the end I wrote about where the museum is and how you can get in touch with them for any questions.