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Narrative is "a values-based story about our core beliefs. Powerful narratives, used repeatedly over time, can change how people view the world and shape cultural common sense. Values and story are essential elements of narrative that move people." -Climate Access Communications Hub [1]

The elements of narratives [2]


  • The heroes of your narrative stand up because they believe in these values. Values are not a story element, but are touchstones that must be woven into all the story elements.
  • i.e. justice and equity


  • the big picture beyond the policy
  • i.e. a just society
  • what is standing in our way
  • i.e. injustice; some communities and the environment are given less value than profit.
Heroes (archetypes)
  • i.e. activists standing up for what's right
Heroes tools 
  • i.e. direct action and education
  • archetypes of who or what is the threat
  • i.e. big money
Villains weapons 
  • what they're doing
  • i.e. maintain power and inequality

For a detailed resource on how to draft a narrative, see this resource on the Commons library. We also suggest trying the battle of the story exercise to develop your narrative and counter-narrative. 

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