Stories as comments
The story of Oliver Twist was not just of a boy in an orphanage, it
depicted the conditions of the times in such a way that readers of the
time were forced to recognise the bad conditions of orphanages, and call
for changes. The story was a social comment. In the process of showing
the conditions of orphanages, the characters involved had to be shown
in depth so that their acceptance of the situation was consistent with
the time. A story with a social comment is created with the intent of
changing public opinion.
Stories as reports
Here the storyline takes the viewer through a sequence of events as
information. The actual story may unfold to explain situations where the
characters play a minor part. This type of story is common in historical
themes where the events are known but the people involved are not. War
stories may also have well documented backgrounds where characters are
secondary to the events.
Stories as interludes
Here they are like music. They simply create an atmosphere. It is rather
like reading through a magazine that has style but not much substance.
Such stories are typically light romances and comedies which are more
intent on creating atmosphere rather than making a statement.
Stories as experiments
Ideas are tried out using an experimental form. The author might have
two or more different endings. The time sequence might not be linear,
with the end result coming at the beginning. The author might use words
in an unconventional way. There may not actually be a story as such, as
in 'Stream of consciousness' where ideas flow out as though thinking directly
onto paper. This form is much easier in visual presentations where dreamlike
ideas can be superimposed.
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© 2002-2009 Stan Hayward. All rights reserved.