Chapter 5. The Third Element; or, How to Build a Storyworld

  1. David Herman

Published Online: 4 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305920.ch5

Basic Elements of Narrative

Basic Elements of Narrative

How to Cite

Herman, D. (2009) The Third Element; or, How to Build a Storyworld, in Basic Elements of Narrative, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305920.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 2 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405141536

Online ISBN: 9781444305920



  • building storyworlds - narratives as blueprints for worldmaking;
  • narrative ways of worldmaking;
  • narrative beginnings as prompts for worldmaking - taking up residence in storyworlds;
  • narrative worlds - a survey of approaches;
  • transportation to narrative worlds;
  • possible-worlds theory and fictional recentering;
  • deictic shift theory, text worlds, and contextual frames;
  • configuring narrative worlds - The WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN dimensions of storyworlds;
  • temporal dimension of storyworlds;
  • spatial dimension of storyworlds and narrativity and noncanonical events


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Narratives as Blueprints for Worldmaking

  • Narrative Ways of Worldmaking

  • Narrative Worlds: A Survey of Approaches

  • Configuring Narrative Worlds: The WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN Dimensions of Storyworlds

  • Worlds Disrupted: Narrativity and Noncanonical Events