What\’S The Difference Between Chronological And Sequence

As you start writing your own stories, you may come across the terms “chronological” and “sequence.” Both of these techniques are ways to organize the events in your story, and choosing which one to use can drastically change the way your story is perceived. In this article, we will explore the difference between chronological and sequence and which one might be best for your story.

Chronological is the order of events as they happened in real life. It is a linear and straightforward way of storytelling that begins at the beginning and ends at the end. Simply put, it is the natural order of a story’s events. For example, if your story is about a woman’s life, chronologically speaking, you would start with her birth and end with her death.

Sequence storytelling, on the other hand, is not limited to chronological order. It is more focused on the order of events for maximum emotional impact. This means that the events in your story could be shuffled around to create a more powerful experience for your audience. A perfect example of a sequence storytelling is Christopher Nolan’s Memento, where the story is told backward. The main character’s memory is limited to a few minutes, and as his condition worsens, the film goes back in time to explain how he got there.

So why choose chronological storytelling over sequence or vice versa? The answer lies in the kind of story you want to tell. If you want your readers to feel the full scope of your story, from beginning to end, then chronological storytelling may be your best bet. This is particularly true for stories that revolve around a character’s growth or experiences. If you want your audience to see your main character’s entire life, from her childhood to her death, then chronological order is likely the right choice.

On the other hand, if you want to create a story that has more punch, then sequence storytelling may be the more interesting approach. With this technique, you have the power to manipulate events to create a more profound emotional impact. For example, if your story is about a woman’s journey to freeing herself from an abusive relationship, starting your story at the end with her triumph over the situation could produce a more significant emotional response from the reader.

Of course, both techniques are not mutually exclusive; you can use both in the same story. But, as always, the success of your story lies in how well you wield the tool that you’ve chosen. Use chronological order if you want to tell a story about growth and development over a lifetime. Use sequence storytelling if you want to turn the order of events on its head and create an emotional reaction from your readers.

When deciding on which story-telling technique to use, do not forget the importance of foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints to your reader what you are building up to. It’s like planting seeds in your story that will pay off later. If you are using sequence storytelling, note that the effectiveness of this technique hinges on your ability to drop these hints for the reader to follow. Give them a reason to want to see how everything fits together. On the other hand, with chronological storytelling, you have to be mindful of keeping your reader engaged. If your story is too predictable, it could quickly become boring.

Lastly, regardless of which technique you use, it is essential to always keep your reader’s experience in mind. The ultimate goal of storytelling is to create a world where the reader forgets that they are reading a book. When creating a world, it is up to you to choose the order of events that will take the reader on a journey that feels real and alive.

In conclusion, deciding whether to use chronological or sequence storytelling is entirely dependent on the kind of story you want to tell. If it’s a story of development and growth, chronological order may be your best choice. But if it’s the emotional punch that you’re after, then sequence storytelling might be more effective. Regardless of which technique you go for, remember that foreshadowing and engagement of the reader are crucial elements of good storytelling. Happy writing!