Piecing some things together as part of my ongoing investigation of this mysterious genre: 


A synthesis of aesthetic and behavioral qualities that sets a character (or characters) apart. Often is used to aesthetically unify characters across a moral spectrum for a particular story world.

The center of a narrative structure


Takes place when there's a transformation of a constituent


canon arc

A transformation of a constituent that involves them learning or growing in some way

An element in a story that is understood by the story's audience to have consciousness. Though usually a character, it can also be a place, an object or an animal




A representation of events, real or fictional, sequential or not


A narrative that has an arc

observational arc

A transformation of an audience member’s view of a constituent's role in the story. An audience discovering that an evil character is actually good is an example of an observational arc. 

Narrative content that is understood by its audience to be unreal


Narrative content that is understood by both its audience and its constituents to be unreal, or to have attributes that the audience decidedly associates with artificial construction. A direction connection between constituents and their audience is a hallmark of metafiction.