Cascade: An introduction to narrative math

In this course, you will learn the basics of a framework called “narrative math” for analyzing and telling stories. You will also learn about a framework called “narrative music” that will give you tools to create stories based not on conflict, but on rendering emotional resonances and symbolic dualities.


Cascade: An introduction to narrative math by December Seas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This course is free to access online. You may save and make copies of the course for offline use and to redistribute. Any adaptation of this course must be shared under a compatible license.

Tuition is optional. If you would like to leave a token of appreciation for my labor on this course, you may do so through the Tuition page in my shop.

Course Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between plot and narrative.
  • Name four types of narration on the stream of consciousness to omniscience continuum.
  • Understand how style, timing, and worldbuilding build on basic narrative templates.
  • Explain five ways to tell a character-driven narrative.
  • Evaluate how many characters you need for a particular story.
  • Describe the concept of authorial voice.
  • Explain the concept of narrative resonance.
  • Understand the difference between audience and authenticity.
  • Articulate what “desire” is in a narrative context.
  • Analyze a work for symbols and metaphors.
  • Write a piece of prose that uses an extended metaphor.
  • Understand how to incorporate your own experience into a narrative.
  • Explain why the concept “show, don’t tell” is unnecessarily limiting.
  • Demonstrate when telling can be a productive narrative mode.
  • Explain the advantages of “write what you’ve felt” instead of “write what you know.”
  • Provide examples of narrative filtering.
  • Explain what a “kenning” is and how it can be used to create vivid descriptions.
  • Consistently render emotionally resonant narratives.

Course Information

Estimated Time: 9,500 words × your reading speed, plus time to complete any reading comprehension exercises

Difficulty: Introduction



Course Instructor

December Seas December Seas Author

December Seas writes erotica that usually devolves into social criticism with a side of sex and feelings. You can follow December on Twitter as @DecemberSeas or get in touch via email at [email protected].

Course Syllabus


December 2, 2022 | v1.1.0

  • Migrated course to S. Qiouyi Lu’s course publishing platform.
  • Added more white space for legibility.
  • Added sidebar notice about audio version.

?, 2021

  • Course unpublished.

January 4, 2021 | v1.0.0