S23E3 – Rashomon Stories

If you’re looking for a unique way to tell a story – especially a crime story – consider the Rashomon structure. Originally a Japanese film, Rashomon told the storyh using the subjective views of those involved in the events. The same scene was shown several times from all different perspectives.

Using the Rashomon structure means digging into the characters and how they view the world. People often see and notice what they know or what they want to see. Those with tactical training – military and police for example – will see threats and weapons. The bookworm that would rather be home than out on a Friday night would probably notice the dogs or cats at a party. Telling a Rashomon story will help you convey what matters to the character. Who they really are at the core.

It is not an easy structure, however. You need to plan out not just the event, but how each character perceives that event. It takes thought and deep knowledge of your character. No viewpoint should be completely accurate.

Listen to this episode to learn more about the Rashomon structure and how it can be used in your own story.

First aired August 9, 2021.

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About the Author
I'm an editor and cover designer for AspenHouse Publishing. I am also a host for AspenHouse's poscast, Writing Roots.

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