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fiction - the structure of narrative

An image of Freytag's Triangle showing the structure of a narrative.

In a book called Technique of the Drama (1863), the German critic, Gustav Freytag, suggested a method of analysing the structure of short stories. This has come to be known as 'Freytag's Triangle' - and you can see this above.

It is perhaps surprising how closely many stories follow this structure. It's as if we ' need' such a structure as a means of 'knowing where we are' in a story. There is something psychological about our need for structures in our lives and similar structures can be seen in other texts, including cinema films and TV drama.