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What is the name of the structure of a novel that is not in chronological order but moves between characters (viewing the same or different topic)?

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Sounds like you're describing "non-linear" and "multi-narrative." –  Joe Parker Apr 2 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

I don't know any one word that encompasses both. But if a narrative is not chronological, it's anachronic, and if it follows multiple characters, it's heterodiegetic.

So maybe heterodiegetic anachrony is the term you're looking for.

Source: Gérard Genette, Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method, trans. by Jane Lewin (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980).

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+1 for a word combination I cannot even pronounce :) –  John Smithers Mar 25 at 10:01

I've always called it "nonlinear multi-perspective".

Rashomon is probably the best known example of this structure in storytelling. It's a movie based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story "In a Grove" (the movie's title is from another of Akutagawa's stories).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Grove

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%ABnosuke_Akutagawa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashomon_(film)

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