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)?

  • Sounds like you're describing "non-linear" and "multi-narrative."
    – Joe Parker
    Apr 2, 2014 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).


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).




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