The basics of narrative intelligence

The basic operations of narrative intelligence were sketched by William Lowell Randall:

Emplotment: the ability to convert the mass of details we experience into a plot. It includes the ability to edit, summarize, identify and describe conflicts, to weigh importance, to fill in gaps, to characterize relationships, and to form causal and other connections between events.

Characterization: the ability form working theories of what other people are and what they are up to and what they are likely to do and what they are capable of doing.

Genre-ation: the ability to recognize patterns or types in stories, seeing particular plots as satiric, mythic, romantic, comic, tragic, ironic and so on.

Thematization: the ability to see patterns of meaning in events and situations, and to be able to relate events in the past to present understanding--to see, for example, that a person is timid because of a series of bad experiences; to be able to discuss characters and plots in terms of principles such as love, faith, morality, courage, etc.

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from “Narrative Intelligence and the Novelty of Our Lives,” Journal of Aging Studies, Spring 1999 v13 il p.11.

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 11/20 at 02:54 AM

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