Narrative vs Story
Mankind has the ability to make sense of the world around him through logic and reasoning. Even a kid can arrange a few sentences in order to make a logical sequence of sentences as if they have taken place in a timeline. If you have been through an experience and asked by someone to recount the events, the method by which you do so is called narrative. Storytelling is also a similar human ability to recount events of the past whether they are fictional or non fictional. Despite similarities, there are differences between narrative and story telling that will be highlighted in this article.
If you went to the woods last night and had some torrid experiences, you are most anxious to tell them to your friends. The manner in which you recount the sequence of events and what those experiences meant to you is called a narrative. Human beings are by nature story tellers.
Even in ancient times, kings at war with another kingdom appointed people who acted as storytellers and recounted or narrated the whole events of a day of the war to the king through their intelligence and imagination. They did it in a style that was meant to excite and interest the kind, concealing some of the bad events in the process and glorifying the bravery of own soldiers in the process of narration.
The survivors of a natural calamity or an accident are heard with rapt attention as they begin to narrate the sequence of events leading up to the tragedy. A little bit of glorifying one’s bravery and exaggeration of events to make it really look misery for the person involved is a common phenomenon in narration.
Narration could be of any event, and even a kid who is back from his first day at school tries to narrate what happened to him at the school to his mom. Narration could be in the form of a great movie involving a tiger family, a nature lover shoots with his movie camera in the jungle adding his commentary in between to explain the events.
A story has some basic features like setting, plot, characters, and sequence of events in a logical manner, etc. There are various episodes that may look independent of each other but are connected to each other to allow for the build up of a story.
The characters have their own dreams and desires and their actions have an impact on the sequence of events that build up the tension and excitement. When the story reaches a crescendo, listeners have a deep desire to see the resolution of the problems faced by the characters. This resolution comes in the form of climax which may bring the story to an end whether it is happy or sad.
What is the difference between Narrative and Story?
• Narratives and story are meant to be recounted to others. But while narratives are mostly reconstruction of the past, story can be totally fictional as are prevalent in different cultures
• A story needs to have some basic features like setting, characters, plot, episodes, and a climax, narrative is just a recount, whether exciting or boring.
• Movies on channels like National Geographic and Discovery are mostly narrative while a grandma recounting an event from the folklore to his grandchildren is storytelling
• Story is a type of narrative that is made emotionally compelling and interesting to capture the imagination of the people