Fractured narrative

Some drama contains many stories and moves between them. This is called a fractured narrative. The BBC soap opera, EastEnders is an excellent example where various scenes play out between different characters with the action cutting between them.

Linear and non-linear plots

The play, Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse is an example of a linear plot. Events are shown in chronological order even though it breaks into fantasy sequences throughout. Sunset Boulevard, the film written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, has a non-linear plot. It begins with the ending, thus revealing a main character’s death. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice can be broken down into four subplots which weave in and out of each other throughout the play before coming together at the end.

Characters

The characters in the work you create are also an important part of your plot development. Look at Developing characters for more information.

Action in drama

The action of the drama is the events that are contained within it. It’s what happens between characters in a scene and in the play. It could be a sword fight in Macbeth or a tense discussion during which neither character moves physically at all.

Content

This is what your drama is about. It’s the themes, issues and ideas it contains. For example, the action of the piece might be two sisters arguing, but the content is the exploration of sibling rivalry.