This is a narrative technique which is often used in
Literature, film and other narratives. It is when events
are portrayed out of chronological order or other ways
which the narrative the direct pattern of the events
featured. e.g. parallel distinctive plot lines, when
someone is dreaming or when a story is being
narrated outside the main plot line.
This is where parts of the narrative are lost or
misrepresented in order to create mystery,
convenience or other reasons. Films which have used
this include The Butterfly Effect and Donnie Darko
and is usually involves the causality of time traveling
This is where elements of the story turn out to be
unreliable, untrue or a layered over by important
changes. This doesn't however require out of
sequence elements even though it can have them. It
usually involves an ironic twist, lie, reversal or reveal
ending however it can be complicated. This causes
jumps in the narrative from the perspective of the
character(s), audience or both.
This is where the story is told in a different sequence
which it would have originally happened usually
without a major change in view point or perspective.
This is usually used for creating dramatic emphasis, to
build suspense or reveal information which was
previously withheld. This is done through the use of
shuffling, reversing, flashbacks or a recount in a
This involves layers of a story within a story and
cannot be experienced in a linear format. It be done
in ways such as using internal and external references.
The storyline branches depending on which "path" or "route"
the character has taken throughout narrative. These narrative
paths are usually determined by the choices the character has
made at various points throughout the narrative,
including dialogue choices and moral decisions, which can alter
the storyline and lead to multiple endings.
Some narratives will take this approach further and encourage
the audience to view all the endings in order to fully
understand the overarching narrative. For example, various
endings might give differing perspectives, with the plot
elements that may not make sense in one ending making sense
in another ending.
This is mainly applies to the game industry.
This is where there are multiple storylines or aspects
of the same story link together or run parallel to each
other for the purpose of complimenting or exposing
of narrative threads. Examples of films which use this
narrative include Crash and Pulp Fiction.