Non-linear Plot

Non-linear Plot

by Adam Huddleston

Infuriating to some, fascinating to others, a non-linear plot in writing or film can be very thought provoking.  I, for one, am a fan of non-linear narrative.  

What does it mean for a work to be non-linear?  A simple definition is that it is a plot that does not follow a chronological path.  This can be obtained by using multiple plot lines, character flashbacks, or internal narrative.  

Literary examples include: “Wuthering Heights”, “Slaughterhouse-Five”, and “Cloud Atlas”.  Examples in film include several Quentin Tarantino pieces such as “Pulp Fiction”, “Reservoir Dogs”, and “The Hateful Eight”.  One movie told almost completely in reverse is “Memento”.  

While some readers or movie viewers are put off by the fact that they have to work to make sense of the narrative, I enjoy piecing the plot together.  It makes for a fun trip through the story and gives a feeling of accomplishment by the tale’s end.  I highly recommend giving some of these books and movies a try and see what you think.   

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