Narrative elements Storytelling guide

Narrative elements mastery: the power of structure and sequence

Narrative elements are like the ingredients in a recipe, each adding a unique flavor to the dish that is your story. Among these, structure and sequence are particularly crucial, shaping the way your narrative unfolds. This post aims to guide budding writers across various mediums in understanding and leveraging the power of structure and sequence to craft compelling narratives.

1. Defining Structure and Sequence

Structure in storytelling refers to the overall framework or order of your narrative. It’s like the skeleton that holds your story together. Sequence, on the other hand, is the order in which events unfold, akin to the veins that channel life through your narrative.

1.1. The Building Blocks of Structure

One common structural framework is the three-act structure, comprising the setup, confrontation, and resolution. For instance, in the film “The Lion King,” the setup introduces us to Simba’s world, the confrontation follows his exile and return, while the resolution sees him reclaim the throne.

1.2. The Dance of Sequence

Sequence dictates the pace and progression of your narrative. In the Harry Potter series, the sequence of Harry discovering his wizard heritage, then facing numerous trials, keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

2. Balancing Structure and Sequence

Maintaining a balance ensures your narrative flows logically yet retains engagement. For example, in “Stranger Things,” a balance of structure and sequence keeps viewers hooked through the unfolding mysteries and character arcs.

2.1. Examples of Structure and Sequence Mastery

Analyzing “Game of Thrones,” we see how its complex structure and well-planned sequence keep audiences engaged despite a vast ensemble of characters and intertwined plots.

2.2. Practical Exercises

Practicing with different structures and sequences can help hone your storytelling skills. For example, try rewriting a favorite scene using a different sequence or structural framework.

2.3. Common Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

A common mistake is adhering too rigidly to a structure, which may stifle creativity. It’s essential to allow some flexibility in your narrative to evolve naturally.


Mastering structure and sequence is a significant step towards crafting captivating narratives. By applying the insights gained from this post, you’ll be well on your way to storytelling prowess. Now, delve deeper into narrative elements with our Narrative Elements 101 post and continue honing your craft.