Narrative writing is a traditional form of creative writing and is telling a story. Which narrative perspective do you want to convey your story in the most compelling fashion?
- The speaker is involved with the event that they are describing. For example, the narrator may be the main character, I gathered my suitcases and walked in the hotel.
- __EFFECT? __The reader takes on the role of the narrative speaker and they feel more engaged in the unravelling plot.
- The speaker is above the characters (omniscient) and can comment on their movements and thoughts at any time. He gathered his suitcases and wondered what surprised were ahead of him.
- __EFFECT? __The reader is distant from the action but has a clear view of different aspects of the developing plot.
Literary pieces are usually are often set within a particular time or era. Different tenses can create different effects and require different skills from the writer to be a successfully engaging piece.
- Something that has already happened and cannot be altered. Troy drove speedily around the race track.
- __EFFECT? __Using this tense can be easier to manage, as you can add detailed descriptions.
- Something that is currently taking place in real time. This is trickier to use, as it requires conscious crafting to relay as much relevant detail as possible. My knuckles lock on tight to the vibrating steering wheel, as my feet command more speed from the engine.
- __EFFECT? __Using this tense creates a faster pace and a lively tangible plot, because the draws the reader in to experience the event like they themselves are a character.
- Something that has not yet happened. This is much harder tense to write in for a whole narrative.
- _EFFECT? __Using it from time to time will make the reader consider possible consequences and outcomes that are may occur. _Abigail will burn herself out if she continues to exhaust herself like this.
The most common practice is that stories develop in sequential order. The plot moves in an order that would have logically taken place. Sometimes though, it is more engaging when writers manipulate the order in which events are revealed to the reader. This method of withholding information and controlling time can have a dramatic effect. Using a non-chronological structure increases reader engagement, as they have to mentally reorder and piece the events together.
Flashback / Forward
Move the reader either backwards or forwards in time to a memorable event or situation. Moving between these episodes can give the reader more insight into a character and can offer some justifications for certain behaviours or occurrences in the present time.
Circular / Cyclical Narrative
The conclusion of the plot echoes the details or events that were presented right at the beginning. The reader is forced to compare what has changed in the middle and whether or not it has made a lasting impression on the outcome. Employing this device creates a positive impression, as the reader is taken on a complete journey.
I am sure you have heard the phrase, ‘There are two sides to every story’. Sometimes using a first person narrative perspective can only offer a limited and bias account of the events. Whereas, using a dual narrative is effective, as it provides the reader with two accounts about the same event that are presented alongside each other. Then, it is left to the reader to determine which side they prefer.
Include motifs or patterns that are repeated throughout a text. Use them to either reflect a genre or act as a symbol. Do not overuse motifs, as they should be aim to emphasise key ideas and concepts.
For example, having a crow flying low in the sky on multiple occasions. The bird acts a symbol of death.
Alternatively, repeating a sentence or a paragraph in the text, creates a recognisable framework.
- Which narrative tense is easier to employ?
- What is involved in using a non-chronological structure?
- Your answer should include: Manipulate / Time / Withhold / Information / Dramatic
- What can be repeated in a text?
- Your answer should include: Patterns / Motifs