Elements of Narrative

Andy Hiss
November 4, 2014

In Story class, MPA students examine elements of narrative as it exists across multiple forms and a length – poetry and songs, plays and films, comics and graphic novels.  

Recently each student wrote an original short dramatic narrative, with some students focusing on screenplays and others stage plays. Students read each other’s work, provided focused feedback and, from that feedback, rewrote their first drafts, improving their narratives.

We are now moving into a study of long-form dramatic story. Students have read and are now discussing David Auburn’s full-length play, "Proof."  For the next two weeks, we will analyze and discuss in-depth issues of character and conflict, escalating action, twists and reversals as well as the ultimate meanings and themes of the play.

After Thanksgiving, we will turn our attention to graphic narrative, to short-form comics and to Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel, "Persepolis." Students will examine the narrative qualities of image as well as the core elements of story we have been discussing all term.  After discussing "Persepolis," students will have a chance to write and revise their own original graphic narratives.