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Narrativity describes the qualities that distinguish a narrative from all nonnarratives.



Narrative is a widely discussed concept given its complexity and sometimes elusive nature. As an over-arching concept, narrativity refers to all those qualities or characteristics applied to narratives that make a narrative a narrative; in other words, without these characteristics, we are left with non-narrative. Thus, narrativity becomes the distinguishing factor between narrative and nonnarrative. Some aspects of narrativity are: a distinguishable narrative voice, setting, plot development, and chronology of events, among others. Characteristics of narrativity apply to both fiction and nonfiction works alike. The set of conventions governing the way a story is told has equal effect on both genres.


Critical Debates

Related Terms

{list any terms that are related or usefully connected to this term or concept (e.g., list story under the definition of discourse)}


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Scholes, Robert. "Narration and Narrativity in Film and Fiction." In Scholes, Semiotics and Interpretation. New Haven: Yale UP, 1982. 57-72.

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Young, Katharine Galloway. "Storyability and Eventfulness: Beyond Referential Theories of Narrative." In Young, Taleworlds and Storyrealms: The Phenomenology of Narrative. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987. 186-210.

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