This contribution was written in the context of the Shared Task on the Analysis of Narrative Levels through Annotation (SANTA) and deals with the formalization of the narratological concept of ‘narrative level’. Firstly, we discuss the theory of narrative levels in literary studies. Secondly, we derive features for the identification of narrative levels and finally, we develop guidelines for their annotation. An essential finding of the theoretical work lies in connecting the concept of ‘narrative level’ to the narrator. By identifying different types of narrators, we are able to enumerate and categorize different scenarios for the emergence of new levels in narrative texts. Hereby, the article does not remain restricted to prototypical examples, but also deals with rare and problematic cases. Overall, our goal is both to provide a theoretical reflection on narrative levels and to create accurate guidelines for its recognition. Our methodological approach, i. e. addressing the phenomenon through annotation, has proven to be extremely fruitful.