Narrative Character Maps

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Ray from Faithlife | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Oct 27 2014 1:49 AM

What is it?

Interactive charts that let you visualize the way characters interact with one another in a Biblical narrative.

How does it work? 

Explore a narrative by hovering over a character's name and you'll be able to trace how that character enters the narrative spotlight and later fades into the background.This visual feature offers a tremendous amount of information at a glance, so you can get a big-picture view of the narrative you are studying.

Open in Logos 6

Where Can I Learn More?

Read more about the Narrative Character Maps here

RD3

Logos Marketing | ray.deck@logos.com

Posts 570
Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 1 2014 7:35 PM

I like the idea of tracking participants/characters and how they interact with other character over the span of several stories/episodes. But I need a bit more help in how to read the map. What does the moving of the character's line indicate? Does further up in the map indicate foreground (spotlight) and further down background? But then why for example is Boaz or Job a straight line? Boaz is not mentioned in the Bible text until chapter 2. So why is he up there already in the earlier episodes/events? Job is not always active through out the book of Job. Why does his line not weave in and out with Eliaphaz, Bildad and Zophar? For me it would make more sense that Job is up when he speaks (is active, in the foreground) and the other three are up whenever they speak respectively. But then maybe I have a different understanding of tracking participants. Maybe what is done here is mapping prominence of characters throughout the story, not mapping prominence as the text gives them prominence. For example, Job's wife's line goes through the whole map. Yes, she is there the whole time, isn't she. But she is not in the text the whole time. The narrator brings her in at one time, fades her out, and then she is not mentioned till the very end of the story. So if the map would represent how participants are introduced, removed from stage and brought up again in the text, then you wouldn't have a continues line for Job's wife.

Also, I'm wondering whether there is a way to show who is the VIP (major participant) of a story. And this may change from episode to episode or event to event. But maybe the line of the character that is most prominent for that episode could be bolder for that part of the map than the other lines.

Lastly, I'd like to ask whether it is possible to insert fine vertical lines in the map to visually separate the different events. I know it highlights the event when I click on it etc. but since it is a visual aid I'd like to see where a new event starts and ends.

This is not criticism, just a few thoughts that I have as a feedback. I want to know how to use the tool rightly. Often time when we see a new tool we have certain expectations. And they are not always met because your purpose in putting a tool together might not line up with our purposes in using the tool. So I want to learn about your purpose, your thoughts behind the tool.

Thanks

Posts 570
Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 6 2014 4:28 PM

The product page (https://www.logos.com/product/45501/narrative-character-maps) mentions geographical location where as this thread speaks about spotlight and background of the character. How do the two go together?

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 8 2014 9:04 AM

Schumitinu:
mentions geographical location where as this thread speaks about spotlight and background of the character. How do the two go together?

Vertical movement on the map indicates a geographical move - so in the diagram below Naomi moves from Bethelehem to Moab and back again.

But even though she and Ruth arrive in Bethlehem together (so are there in the same geographical location) there are still variations with Ruth moving between Boaz and Naomi indicating how she is acting in the narrative.

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 8 2014 9:43 AM

Schumitinu:
What does the moving of the character's line indicate?

Usually some geographic movement (often up is north, down is south, since many biblical stories are on the north-south axis). Sometimes, as in Job, it's to put the people interacting/talking closer together.

These diagrams aren't perfect representations, and they don't try to be timelines of the story, but rather a schematic of the interactions and relationships.

Schumitinu:
Boaz is not mentioned in the Bible text until chapter 2. So why is he up there already in the earlier episodes/events?

Because presumably Boaz was alive and present in Bethlehem even in the first part of the book, when the story was following what was happening on Moab. If characters appeared and disappeared on the maps as they entered and left the story, it would become more of a straight line that just repeats back the story visually. This is an attempt to 'map' the characters (not the geography), not to just re-tell the story visually. (The "Bible People Visual Timelines" are more of a visualization of the story line, always showing just what's happening in that episode. See logosres:interactive:life-of-timelines;pos=index.html$3FincludeRaygun$23!$2Fdavid)

These narrative character maps were inspired by http://xkcd.com/657/ -- we just thought the idea would be useful for following biblical narratives, too. I'd love more feedback / ideas. Should we stick with the current methodology? Change it? Do more of them? Which stories?

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Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 8 2014 9:58 PM

Graham, this is great. Thanks for that explanation. Just knowing how to read the chart, it suddenly makes sense. Thank you!

Bob Pritchett:

This is an attempt to 'map' the characters (not the geography), not to just re-tell the story visually. (The "Bible People Visual Timelines" are more of a visualization of the story line, always showing just what's happening in that episode. See logosres:interactive:life-of-timelines;pos=index.html$3FincludeRaygun$23!$2Fdavid)

These narrative character maps were inspired by http://xkcd.com/657/ -- we just thought the idea would be useful for following biblical narratives, too. I'd love more feedback / ideas. Should we stick with the current methodology? Change it? Do more of them? Which stories?

Bob, thanks for jumping in and providing some background. It helps to know the idea behind the tool. As far as feedback, it depends on the purpose of the tool, what you want to achieve with it. I obviously read something into it that wasn't there. But I guess I took it from this page as it says: "you'll be able to trace how that character enters the narrative spotlight and later fades into the background." Now to me the terminology used of a character moving from spotlight to background sounds like participant tracking in the text (part of discourse analysis). But maybe some of that could still be incorporated. For example, when the character is not part of the text use a dotted line, when he is part of the text a full line. When the character is the major participant of the story indicate that by making the line bold for that section of the map. Whatever you do, please provide sufficient documentation so one knows how to interpret it.

Glad to hear what others think and suggest too.

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Fr Devin Roza | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 10 2014 12:17 AM

Bob Pritchett:

These narrative character maps were inspired by http://xkcd.com/657/ -- we just thought the idea would be useful for following biblical narratives, too. I'd love more feedback / ideas. Should we stick with the current methodology? Change it? Do more of them? Which stories?

When you do the book of Tobit, remember to include his dog. I don't want to lose track of that little guy. Smile

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Martyn Winsen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 10 2014 5:01 PM

I noticed the product page at https://www.logos.com/product/45501/narrative-character-maps mentions "Trace the missionary journey’s of Paul and other early church leaders in the first century."  Are you going to add more maps or do we need to buy more resources to see things like Paul's missionary journeys?

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 10 2014 5:11 PM

They will be added

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Martyn Winsen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 10 2014 5:14 PM

MJ. Smith:

They will be added

Woohoo thanks!!

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Schumitinu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 15 2014 8:05 PM

Just thinking about it a bit more, this is actually a very valuable tool. It covers three key components of narratives/stories. They are time, location and participants (characters). They make up the setting of the event (storyline) which is the other important, or most prominent component. Furthermore, the maps signal changes in time (new event/episode), changes of location (character moving from one location to the other) as well as changes of participants (how the characters interact with one another, who is on stage). They are the three major changes one traces when analyzing narratives.

And it is all made visual! Great tool!

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Graham Criddle | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 21 2014 1:16 AM

I've just been looking at the new map added to this tool - Acts, Part 1

As well as some useful information some really powerful and helpful graphical design to help show the flow of the story

Good job.Smile

Posts 1
Michael Dziuban | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Mar 29 2016 3:18 PM

Can I download the Narrative Character Maps to be used for my 8th Grade Religious Education Class?   These are an amazing teaching tool.

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