Advanced Storytelling: Nonlinear Structure and Unreliable Narrators OnDemand Webinar

Advanced Storytelling: Nonlinear Structure and Unreliable Narrators OnDemand Webinar

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Readers trash scripts with stale characters and predictable plotting. Neophyte writers are admonished to renounce voice-over narration (because it's usually so ineptly executed) - yet it attracts gold at the Oscars and Emmys, dollars at the box office, binge viewing and social media heat.

Some of the most iconic plot twists and legendary surprise endings in cinema, television and literature were revealed by unreliable narrators or unfurled through nonlinear storytelling. Heather absolutely adores these two advanced storytelling elements. Her story-driven career, degree in Creative Writing, and lifetime of voracious reading, film and television viewing, have honed her appreciation.

Join Heather for a virtual guided tour of indie darling benchmarks to genre-defining milestones to recent blockbusters to the renaissance on TV today. some of the most trendsetting filmmakers and content creators of all time - and masters of these techniques. Catch her contagious passion through crystal clear explanations that will empower and inspire you to immediately implement new creative techniques to ratchet up your own writing.


  • how to plot your narrator on a scale of unreliable intentionality (from na√Øve, ignorant or evasive to deliberate, immoral or criminal)
  • to use inconsistency clues to intrigue or mislead your audience
  • to manage ensemble Protagonists with multiple plot lines
  • to structure concurrent plots, grouped narrative drives or different endings
  • the difference between nonlinear storytelling and
    • traditional or extended flashbacks or flashforwards, bookend techniques or parallel narratives
    • time travel movies (with time loops, parallel or split timelines, temporal disorientation or paradoxes)
  • to begin a narrative in the middle - and where to go from there
  • to interweave time, space and causality with continuity and context
  • why psychological thrillers, mysteries, horror, dark comedy and young adult stories are such fertile genres for these elements
  • why so many unreliable narrators and nonlinear structures are adapted from novels
  • to manipulate the audience through their superior and inferior knowledge
  • to toy with subjective versus objective (and the ambiguities of) points of view
  • to use framing devices to achieve dramatic and thematic unity
  • to withhold information to amp up the tension, increase the suspense, heighten the romance, maintain the mystery or the joke
  • how instead of experiencing a transformative character arc, an unreliable narrator might reveal that they either can't change - or were someone else all along
  • to distort your audience's perception to engross them


  • Feature film screenwriters who want to stretch and strengthen their storytelling muscles
  • TV scriptwriters who want to write more cinematically
  • Novelists and short story writers adapting their material to film or television
  • Screenwriters who want to novelize their scripts
  • Writers who want to challenge themselves with new storytelling techniques
  • Producers enhancing their development expertise
  • Film & TV fans and voracious readers increasing their cinematic and literary fluency
  • Media students studying the evolution and convergence of transmedia storytelling techniques
  • Film & TV critics desiring a representative survey of these elements
  • Authors wanting to update their narrative strategies
  • Aspiring creatives wanting to find an accessible point of entry into a challenging story idea

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