Three Narrative Arcs Video from Creator Bill Kenower

“What we call ‘the story’ really exists beneath the surface of events, or what is happening.  What we call the study of literature, the study of fiction, is really a process of seeing deeply into life.  And in my experience, the deeper we can see into life, the wiser we are, the more compassionate we are, the more empathetic we are.”

-Bill Kenower, from The Three Narrative Arcs, referring to the “Intentional Arc” of a story

This video is a continuation of the resources provided by Bill Kenower for teachers to use while analyzing narrative structure.  As mentioned previously in posts, Kenower has been using the arcs (physical, emotional and intentional) to teach writing and has recently become interested in helping teachers use them to analyze literature as well.  This video could be a precursor before delving more deeply into the intentional arc videos posted previously.

This analysis framework can help students to understand what writers do with intention to craft a story.  I often hear of teachers struggling to help students understand “theme,” and I think this is one effective way to get to that deeper understanding.  In addition, the more students are able to identify writer’s craft in others’ work, the more likely they will be to be able to utilize such tools as theme and character development in their own writing effectively.

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