How ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens Perfectly Follows the Five Act Structure Narrative Technique

A Christmas Carol Five Act Structure

Filmmaker Michael Tucker of Lessons from the Screenplay revisits the classic holiday tale A Christmas Carol to show how Charles Dickens‘ 1893 story perfectly follows the narrative technique of the five act structure. This technique requires a character to go on a journey of self-discovery that takes place over five distinct acts beginning with “Exposition” and concluding with “Resolution”

…if you know the story of “A Christmas Carol”, then congratulations, you’re also familiar with the basic elements of story structure. Most stories guide a character on a journey of transformation, and story structure can help a writer design this arc of change. “A Christmas Carol” not only has one of the clearest examples of a character transformation, it also has a very visible story structure. Every major step along Scrooge’s journey is marked by the introduction of a new character.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.