Narrative Writing: Conventions of the Form

Narrative Writing: Conventions of the Form

Understanding Narrative Writing

  • Narrative writing tells a story. It encompasses various elements such as characters, a setting, a plot, and a narrative viewpoint.
  • This form of writing is designed to entertain, inspire, or provoke thought in the reader.

Establishing a Setting

  • A setting is the time and place in which a story takes place. It sets the scene, creates mood and supports the overall plot.
  • It can be anywhere from a fantastical realm to a mundane high-street.

Creating Characters

  • Characters are the people (or sometimes animals, objects, etc.) who take part in the action of the story.
  • Each should have their own distinct traits and characteristics. The way characters interact can drive the plot forward and add depth to the story.

Building a Plot

  • The plot refers to the sequence of events that take place in a story. It typically includes an introduction, development of conflict, climax, resolution, and conclusion.
  • Causality is crucial. This means one event should lead to another, and the story should maintain logical progression.

Choosing a Point of View

  • The point of view is the perspective from which the story is told. This could be first-person (I/we), second-person (you), or third-person (he/she/it/they).
  • Choosing a point of view affects the information you provide to your readers and the overall tone of your writing.

Using Dialogue

  • Dialogue is conversation between characters. It can advance the plot, provide insight into characters, or add tension to the story.
  • Try to make dialogue sound natural while conveying necessary information without overloading the reader with non-pertinent details.

Establishing a Theme

  • The theme is the central topic or message of the story. It could be about love, friendship, coming-of-age, good versus evil, and so forth.
  • A clear theme can make your narrative more engaging and relatable for your readers.

Incorporating Literary Techniques

  • Employ literary techniques to enhance your narrative. For instance, foreshadowing can create suspense, metaphors can convey complex ideas, and flashbacks can give insights into a character’s backstory.
  • Using a variety of literary techniques can help you weave an engaging, imaginative and meaningful narrative.

Understanding and using these conventions effectively allows you to create an engaging and compelling narrative, drawing in your readers and transporting them into the world of your story.