GEK1049: Tutorial 8, Genres of Narrative

GEK1049 Tutorials Homepage.
Main reading:
, Chapter 9: Genre (sections 1-6 only; Chapter 8: The Schema, is also useful).
Further readings:
Star Wars Episodes IVVI: Genre (Sparknotes)
Genres (Brooklyn College)
What are the main types of stories and narratives? by Steve Denning
Types of Prose Fiction (Univ of Freiburg)
Genre and the Video Game by Mark J. P. Wolf, Chapter 6 of The Medium of the Video Game (2002)


  1. Discuss the particularities of a narrative genre that you are familiar with, and explain how the narrative features are similar to or different from that of other genres, or of related genres. The genre you choose may be selected from a wide range:
    1. Animated cartoons,
    2. Anim,
    3. The comic strip,
    4. Super-hero movies or comic books,
    5. The spy thriller (whether in novel form or as a movie),
    6. Teenage romance,
    7. Fairy tales,
    8. etc.
  2. In your discussion of any of the above genres, you may want to draw attention to some features of narrative which may be specific to the genre, such as:
    1. Beginning and end
      1. How does narrative in the genre begin?
      2. How does it end?
      3. Are there variations in the genre's ending and beginning?
      4. Is the ending predictable?
    2. Setting
      1. Is the setting natural or supernatural?
      2. If it is natural, are there supernatural happenings or events?
      3. Does the setting predetermine how the narrative will develop?
    3. Characterisation
      1. What are the features of the main characters?
      2. Who are the heroes?
      3. Who are the villains?
      4. What do the heroes achieve at the end of the narrative?
    4. Events
      1. What kind of events can be found in this genre?
      2. What is the usual time span of a narrative in this genre?
      3. Are certain events connected to certain characters?
    5. Plot
      1. What is the typical plot for this genre?
      2. Are the cause and effect relations usually clear in this genre? Are there a lot of physical actions?
      3. Are there usually elements of suspense and surprise for plots in this genre, and where can they usually be found?
      4. Are chance and coincidence important in this genre?
    6. Narration
      1. Who or what is the voice that tells the story?
      2. Does the story 'tell itself' without someone telling it for us?
      3. From whose perspective is the story usually told? Is this factor relevant for the genre?
  3. It may be of interest for you to discuss an excellent web page made by a former student of this module. It discusses characterisation in anim, but it is of relevance to genre as well, as some of the ways the characters are constructed may be particular to, or help to define, anim as a narrative genre.

Last revised: 26/08/2013

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