Developing your narrative competence

Posted by  Andrew Rixon —November 3, 2005
Filed in Business storytelling

Shawn recently blogged an interesting post on how to develop your narrative competence. The value of a developed sense of narrative competence is well recognised in the Medical field.

Here’s an interesting one for pictorial narratives*.

Do you think the figures below are both narratives?

Calvin and Hobbes

Model Airplane

(*- From “Narrative Representation to Narrative Use: Towards the Limits of Definition – NARRATIVE, Vol. 13, No. 2 (May 2005)”)

About  Andrew Rixon


  1. Andrew Rixon says:

    I was expecting a few comments on this one, so, I might as well make that expectation come true. 🙂
    The answer of whether the two figures are narrative comes down to: ‘it depends’.
    Most people will have no problems seeing the Calvin and Hobbes figure as a narrative, it is the second one, which reads more like instructions which is challenging. However, it is possible to consider in several thousand years a team of archeologists discovering this picture and ‘reading as’ as narrative of how an ancient civilization put alot of effort and work into building a special object….
    The point I guess is that ‘it depends’ on what the point of the narrative is for, what is its use.

  2. Matt Moore says:

    On the other hand, if you had never seen a cartoon strip before, the Calvin & Hobbes might be mystifying.
    Do you go from left to write or write to left? Is this one snapshot in time showing four quadruplets?
    Picture systems have a grammar of their own…

Comments are closed.