A story within a story…
Thanks so much for stopping by! Let’s chat about literary devices!
Over the last twelve weeks, I have feverishly written the first draft of my new novel. Right now, I am pleased to say it is the crappiest first draft I have ever written-but at least it is written! When all is said and done, I hope to have a best-selling middle grade space opera. At the very least I will be happy to have a published novel.
As my journey progresses, I have been reading, researching, and learning about a variety of genres and writing styles. One literary device I want to incorporate is frame story.
Literarydevices.net defines frame story as “a story set within a story, narrative, or movie, told by the main or the supporting character. A character starts telling a story to other characters, or he sits down to write a story, telling the details to the audience. This technique is also called a “frame narrative,” and is employed in storytelling and narration. It may be referred to as an embedded narrative as well.
A perfect example of this device is the 1986 novel, FORREST GUMP by Winston Groom. It tells the life story of Gump (the narrator). With the help of Hollywood, Forest Gump has endeared himself to movie goers when the movie version was released in the United States in 1994.
The Chronicles of Narnia is another example of frame story. The 7-book series, written by C. S. Lewis, “narrates the adventures of various children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the Narnian world.” Titles included in the series are The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Battle.
This device provides the reader with a main story that leads to further stories. Chronicles of Narnia begins with siblings moving to the country during the war when London was in danger of being bombed for their safety and survival. It would have been a different beginning in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe if the children had already gone through the wardrobe to find themselves in Narnia. This device allows for the writer to give more character information to the reader without it being “an information dump”.
Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is my favorite example of frame story. The series follows Roland Deschain’s journey as he goes in search of the dark tower. I can only surmise why he feels he must find it (and I don’t want to research it too much as not to spoil it for myself!).
I am currently enjoying the works in order (and have found a website that suggests all Stephen King’s works that may be intertwined with the Dark Tower series). Since I am in the middle of the third Dark Tower book, I am going to read The Stand: Complete and Uncut Edition (1990) and The Talisman (1984) before moving on to The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass (1997).
For more information on a variety of literary devices, visit https://literarydevices.net/ .
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed learning (or revisiting) frame narratives.
One last comment before I sign off. One of our favorite places is the beach on Chincoteague. One day, this past summer, I happened upon this, and immediately envisioned The Dark Tower. It was the inspiration for me to start my own quest (much like Roland) to read the entire Dark Tower series.
Until next time, Write On!
Until we meet again, Write On!