Genre Plot Theme and Character

In each of the four stages of story communication, authors have recognized four aspects of storytelling at work: Genre, Plot, Theme and Character. In other words, first there must be a Storyforming stage in which Genre, Plot, Theme, and Character are designed as dramatic concepts. Next is the Encoding stage where Genre, Plot, Theme, and Character are symbolized into the language of the culture. Stage three, Storyweaving, sees the author blending the symbolic representations into a seamless flow that presents the symbols for Genre, Plot, Theme, and Character to an audience. The final stage of Reception puts the audience to work decoding the symbols to appreciate the author's intent as represented in Genre, Plot, Theme, and Character.

Naturally, with so many internal steps and appreciations, the opportunity for miscommunication is considerable. In addition, since the audience members are looking from stage four back to stage one, they are in fact authors of their own Reception. In this role the audience may create meaning that is fully supported by the symbology, yet never intended by the author.

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