Narrative Writing


__A Narrative is a STORY. __

There are__ two __types of narrative:

  1. Narrative ~ A fictional story. This means that you can make up all of the events.

  2. Personal Narrative~ A TRUE story about an event that happened in your life. Sometimes this is easier to write, as it becomes more emotionally connected with the reader.


It is really important to have a clear story in your piece of writing. You should spend some time planning this beforehand.


You should use this to introduce characters, setting and mood.


  1. Events happen (Rising Action) - the plot should move forward
  2. Use details
  3. Keep the events progressing forward


A consequence and outcome should occur (Falling Action)


You must choose which narrator you are attempting to create. It affects the voice and emotion within the piece.

First Person: Character is the narrator. Use “I” and “we”. This is used to be able to show the emotions of the character. It only allows for one point of view and we cannot see a balanced point of view.

Second Person: This is when the reader becomes the narrator. It is often used in advertisement but it is quite difficult to use well in a story.

Third Person Omniscient:

This is when you see a story from many different points of views. The audience is able to see all the thoughts and feelings of the characters

Linguistic Features


Dialogue is a key linguistic device in a narrative. However, the punctuation of speech is often misused and it is easy to fall down on marks when using speech. If you use speech, ensure you are accurate.

You need to follow the rules:

  1. Use a new line for each new speaker
  2. Use speech marks: one at the start and one of the end of the words that are spoken.
  3. Punctuate the speech. There needs to be a comma inside the quotation marks, then who said the words.
  4. Try to be expressive. Do not just use ‘said’, as it is boring. Try ‘exclaimed’ or ‘shouted’, depending on mood.
  5. The speech does not represent the end of a sentence. Do not put a capital letter on the afterwards.

_ “Superb,” Mike said as he ran down the busy hallway to his classroom. “I can’t believe it!”_

“What happened?” shouted Joe.


You need to follow the plot line; however, you can go back in time to explain an event or feeling. You could even begin your story in this way.


You can give hints to future events and this will create a sense of looming danger.

Descriptive Language:

Do not be afraid to have moments of description within the narrative. This might include using the senses.

One of the most important word classes in narration is verbs. They can provide much description, which adds mood to your story.

Consider the following:

I could keep this child safe now.

I could keep this child protected now.

I could keep this child guarded now.

I could keep this child uninjured now.

How do each of the underlined words create different meanings?

You must choose a word that conveys your ‘correct’ meaning. None are right or wrong and they are all synonyms of ‘safe’; however, each word creates a different meaning.


You need to make sure that you assign a tense to each sentence that you produce. A common error when writing to describe is to leave a sentence ‘floating’ with no tense attached to it.

Example of an incorrect sentence:

· Covering the ground in purest white, the snow continuing to fall.

This needs to be changed to either the present tense:

· Covering the ground in purest white, the snow continues to fall.

Alternatively, it could be changed to the past tense:

· Covering the ground in purest white, the snow continued to fall.

Your Task: Add whatever is necessary to the sentences below to make sure that they are either in the present or past tense. It may be a verb in either the present or past tense; it may also be a punctuation mark or another word… it’s up to you.

  1. Walking through the crowd, the pickpocket targeting his prey.

  2. Sitting quietly by the edge of the track, noticing the passers-by.

  3. Quietly crying, the child trying not to draw attention to herself.

  4. With rain pelting down on the tarmac, the airplane struggling to land.

  5. Keeping his hand on the steering wheel, singing along to the radio.