Event Maps

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What Event Maps are

Event Maps help identify and visually express the sequence of events that characterise a story. The concept is adapted from structural narrative theory.

A story can be described as a sequence of events. Events are categorized as either “kernel” events, ones that if altered result in significant changes to the story, or “satellite” events, ones that add to the story but can be altered without significantly effecting it. Event maps can be created to plan a story or to map out an existing story. Events are arranged from top to bottom in a column, each one represented by a square. Kernel events are positioned on the upper edge of a large circle that has nested within it all the “satellite” events that move the story toward the next kernel event.

How Event Maps have been used

Event Maps have been used to plan and execute the transposition of stories from roughly drafted written scenarios to Story Maps and/or Storyboards. Written scenario are analysed and broken down to identify distinct events. They are then categorised as being either a kernel or satellite event. A series of linked circles are drawn on a page (a jar lid or coffee cup will do for this). Different coloured post-it notes are used to inscribe the title of each event.

Download Event Map worksheets

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