Stories always involve a tale, a teller and an addressee; the forms of the tale and the teller vary through different media; from books to films and from folklore to urban legends, there is one constant about narrative; the communication from one person to another and the exchange of information through description and emotion.  Language plays a very important role in narrative, a story told in another language would not make sense to someone who doesn’t understand it.  As humans we are expressive beings

In Michael Toolan’s book Narrative – a crucial linguistic introduction he describes several models of the relationship between the three elements and says “narrative focuses our attention onto a story, a sequence of events, through the medium of telling” He describes a painting by Sir John Everett Millais, The Boyhood of Raleigh, in which a sailor is telling a story to two young boys.  As his arm points out to sea, the boys eyes are firmly fixed on him, captivated by his tale.  In narrative, we are presented by ideas and information that we are not seeing with our eyes, but our minds.

Unlike conversation, narrative is prepared and rehearsed, weather refined and altered over hundreds of years travelling by word of mouth into the fabric of society, or written, edited and re-written by a novelist.  Such pre-fabrications or story elements often find themselves reused, for example the ‘humanised hero’ has been around for thousands of years.  Hercules 12 labours were a consequence of killing his wife and child whilst under a spell by Hera, or The Incredible Hulk’s transformation when he’s angry.  These qualities of imperfection lead to a more imperfect, human character, and the formula is reused time and time again.  This formula also applies to story models; for example, the hero leaves the village in which he has spent his whole life on a fantastic journey into the unknown.  He encounters jeopardy, in which he overcomes; rescues a princess and lives happily ever after; this can be equated to villainy, struggle and equilibrium.

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