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Proairetic Code

 

Disciplines > StorytellingStory devices > Proairetic Codes

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

A Proairetic Code is a plot action that does not directly raise particular questions -- it is simply an action that is caused by a previous event and which leads to other events. It is not inherently mysterious.

Example

A person walks down the street.

A tile falls off the roof of a building.

Discussion

Where the proairetic code creates tension in a story is in the anticipation it causes with regard to what might happen next.

When we read stories we may try to read the mind of the author and hence wonder why what is happening as it is. This effect can be used by the author to lead the reader astray and hence create further tension.

This term was introduced by Roland Barthes to distinguish it from the Hermeneutic Code.

See also

Hermeneutic Code, The Need to Predict

 

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