The Narrative Dimensions Model and an exploration of various narrative genres
In the last few decades, the analytical scope of narrative studies has widened from a sole focus on “prototypical”
narratives of personal experience to a wide variety of narrative genres. However interesting this may be, there are also some
problems with these genres as there is not only sometimes considerable overlap between different genres, but
there are also differences within these genres. Furthermore, real-life stories often consist of a mix of various
genres, which makes applying genre-labels to these narratives problematic. Hence, instead of making such genre classifications, I
propose an abstract “Narrative Dimensions Model” to tease out the relevant characteristics of and differences between various
types of narratives. This model consists of two three-dimensional clusters, viz., one revolving around the narrator and containing
the dimensions of ownership, authorship and tellership, and one revolving around the narrated events, containing the dimensions of
frequency, time and evaluation. I illustrate this by a theoretical exploration of various narrative genres and I conclude by
sketching the advantages of conceptualizing and scrutinizing narratives by means of this model.
Keywords: Narrative Dimensions Model, narrative genres, ownership, authorship, tellership, frequency, time, evaluation
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