TYPES OF NARRATIVE
• A narrative is a story with characters
and there is a definite plot line. A
narrative normally has a beginning, a
middle and an end.
• There are two types of narrative –
fiction and non fiction
• This includes novels, plays, short stories
and mini sagas.
• In each instance the focus of the writing is
what the writer’s imagination has created,
the world and the situations and the
characters he/she has conceived of and
• Scripts (film, TV and radio) also belong in
the fiction narrative category. They are so
different though in presentation and the
demands they make on the writer, that
they have their own section.
Have you ever read a story that stays with you long after you finished reading
it? Or where you can’t wait to find out what happens next?.......
The light faded slowly from the screen
even as Santron tried frantically to
reset the controls. It was no good.
Something was jamming the signal. At
this rate, the entire ship would be
blacked out within….Santron checked
the time dial. Three minutes at most.
Santron frowned. Three minutes to fix
the problem or face obliteration!
When the sensor buzzed overhead,
Santron swallowed. If ever she
needed to call on her Frontline
Trooper skills to get her out of trouble it
• This includes personal narratives (i.e. Real
life stories about yourself or someone
else), bibliographies and autobiographies,
as well as feature stories in magazines and
newspapers, and travel articles.
NARRATIVE STRUCTURE AND
ONCE A WRITER HAS A CHARACTER AND A PLOT THEY NEED TO
DECIDE HOW THE STORY WILL BE TOLD.
(1) Some stories are told in chronological fashion (in order of
ie. EVENT A EVENT B EVENT C
Tony and Will get a band together from the
musicians cast off by the school’s music
department. They call the band Frizzard, and
with effort and determination manage to
transform this motley group into a band with
grunt and stage presence. Determined to
show that they are not losers, Frizzard tries
out for the end of year school concert but are
turned down. Disappointed but unfazed, the
band decides they have just one option; gate
crash the concert!....
(2) Some stories are told in flashback, i.e
H A B C D E F G H
Tony and Will are sitting outside the
Principal’s office, wondering where they
went wrong with their band, Frizzard. It is
the day after the big end of year school
concert where Frizzard gate-crashed the
event. As they sit and wait, Tony
remembers how getting a band together
using rejects from the school’s music
department seemed like such a good idea
at the time…. Tony meets Will after both
have been told they haven’t made it onto
the school’s big band list, and they share
their frustration and hatch the idea for
Frizzard…..(and on to the story of how the
ban got together, through to gats-crashing
the concert, and back to Tony and Will
outside the Principal’s office).
CHARACTER, SETTING AND
• Telling a story is not something that
happens by accident. Even a true- life
story has to be ‘shaped’ with an
interesting beginning, a ‘page-turning’
development, and a clear and satisfying
• It is important to bring out character, to
sketch in the setting, and to create energy
of some kind – whether by structuring the
piece around what amounts to a plot or at
least adding a strong dramatic element
(tension between characters). An
interesting tone, like humour or satire, can
• Compare the two stories that follow. Which
one is more effective?
Narrative Writing Tips
• What can we do to make our story writing
more exciting to read?
• Use these tips in your writing to help.
Writing Tip 1
Having too many characters can be a disadvantage as it may be
difficult for your reader to distinguish between them.
Try to stick to two or three characters and really concentrate on
letting your reader know what they are like by describing their
appearance and revealing their personality.
Writing Tip 2
When describing your character’s appearance, try using a
‘sentence of three’.
Mrs Maples was wearing a shiny overcoat, black wellingtons
and a peaked hat.
Buster McVey had slick, black hair, brooding eyes and hands
Writing Tips 3
Describe your characters personality
Use an ‘ing’ clause to add on to a simple sentence to describe what
someone is doing or thinking. This is called a ‘supporting
action’. Look at these, which tells you more:
Tom ate his breakfast. Or
Tom ate his breakfast, wondering where he should start searching.
Mr Potts began to study the map. Or
Mr Potts began to study the map, noticing that
there was a forest in Bigham.
Writing Tip 4
1. The beginning where you introduce the
characters, set the scene and set up the
2. The middle in which the hero has to deal
with the problem.
3. The end where the characters sort out the
problem (or not!) and the story finishes.
Writing Tip 5
Use a good story starter to grip your readers
attention. You could:
1. Start with action
2. Use speech to introduce a character
3. Describe the setting
Writing Tip 6
Editing your story is a very important part of the process.
No-one gets it right first time around!
Make sure you read it through carefully and check:
1. Will your story makes sense to your reader and will it interest them?
2. Are your characters believable?
3. Have you given a satisfactory ending?
4. Are your spellings correct?
5. Make sure you have used a range of punctuation , . ! “ “ ? ( )
(Look at your notes to help you).
6. Long paragraphs can be off putting. Start a new paragraph for:
• A change of time, e.g. Early the next morning…
• A change of place e.g. On the other side of the mountain stood…
• A change of action e.g. At that moment the lights went out.
• A change of character e.g. Unexpectedly, Dr Townley rounded the
Writing Tip 7
Don’t forget to give your story a catchy title.
This is easier to do at the end because a good
title might come to you
as you are writing
Best of luck and