Definition and Examples of Narratives in Writing

The vivid details are there, and the consistent POV and verb tense, as well. As a writer, how do you want your narrative to be remembered? What is it about human nature and human experience your narrative wishes to tell your readers?

Comics are short stories broken up into episodes with graphics or pictures. Examples include ‘Superman,’ ‘Spider-Man,’ or any comic from a newspaper or magazine. Think about your school experiences and funny things that happened.

Characteristics Of A Good Narrative Essay

This weather forecast for the future allows the reader to take their leave. Have the student consider the emotions they want to leave the reader with when crafting their resolution. A good practical exercise for students to get to grips with this is to provide copies of stories and have them identify the central problem or conflict in each through discussion. Familiar fables or fairy tales such as Three Little Pigs, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Cinderella, etc., are great for this. Be sure to refer to a plot map when planning a story, as it has all the essential elements of a great story. TENSE If you change tense, make it perfectly clear to your audience what is happening.

  • Once the first draft is ready, put it aside and wait for a few hours before revising it.
  • Narratives are considered by the Canadian Métis community, to help children understand that the world around them is interconnected to their lives and communities.
  • Whether you’re watching an action film, a documentary, or something in between, narrative helps us to understand what we are watching as well as how it all fits together.
  • Anecdotes are brief narratives that are written from the writer’s memory.

Since you are writing a narrative essay, not a narrative chapter or book, the more stories you include, the less detail you will be able to include because you will simply run out of space. So, it’s best to focus on one or two personal stories that correspond well with the writing prompt so you can go into as much detail as possible. • A definite message is a part of a narrative writing and characteristics of narrative writing it is suitably addressed to the readers. Here, in this type of writing, the message is mentioned through the dialogues, events or the actions of the characters. In brief, it is not explicitly said, rather the message is gradually opened up as the events occur. Because narrative essays are much shorted than your regular stories or novels, you can’t afford to make the plot too complicated.


Any story is based on a plot that determines how the narrative begins, progresses, and ends. This is where you plan how events unfold and develop from one to another. It is important to think through the order in which you tell about events even if you are writing nonfiction. A narrative essay is a common academic task that is liked more because of the creative freedom you can unleash when writing it. A chance to take a breather from all the analytical, persuading, and argumentative papers. This article is for you if you want to better understand what a narrative essay is and what its core components are.

  • He argues that discussing music in terms of narrativity is simply metaphorical and that the “imagined plot” may be influenced by the work’s title or other programmatic information provided by the composer.
  • Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby is one of the best examples of an unreliable first-person narrator.
  • It will describe what caused an event and the effects it had on the people involved.
  • After students understand story elements, writing a good story can begin.

Here the first person usually describes the events that happened to him. For that, they use ‘I’ , on the other hand, the third person narrator illustrates the situation as an observer. Besides, the second person narrator directly addresses to the readers. A mood is the emotions you want the reader to experience when reading your narrative essay. If set up well, it will only compliment the main message of your story. Narratives use words purposefully to elaborate and explore the story to represent the author’s point of view. Here are the main characteristics that make up the narrative text.

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Still, it may well form a challenging extension exercise for those more gifted storytellers among your students. Over time students will develop their abilities to handle more complex plots and write accordingly.

  • When writing a story, it is vital to consider the character’s traits and how they will impact the story’s events.
  • Make sure the sentences begin using different parts of speech.
  • The character of Jo March is commonly believed to represent author Louisa May Alcott in the classic American novel, Little Women.
  • It leads naturally onto the next stage of story writing, which is creating suitable characters to populate this fictional world they have created.
  • You can also highlight key events and include scenes that provide necessary details that wouldn’t fit into your story’s timeline otherwise.

When you communicate effectively through writing, you are doing more than just telling a story. You are allowing someone else the privilege of experiencing a story through your eyes. The best narrative essay will have a clear plot with a beginning, middle, and end.

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So make sure to think about how you would engage the readers emotionally and define the main point that you want to highlight. It involves a series of related events or actions to provide information or insight about a story.

characteristics of narrative writing

Explain the moral of your story, why it’s significant, and what the audience might want to do after reading it. In short, a narrative arc is the sequence of the events in your story. In your narrative essay, feel free to use any of those three conflict types. Or, check The Writer’s Journey, the book by Disney’s screenwriter Christopher Vogler to reveal storytelling secrets behind all movie blockbusters. It’s a kinda practical guide to above mentioned The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In classical storytelling, a character is a hero who has to set off on a journey and deal with all antagonists and conflicts to come back home with a reward or wisdom. Doing so, you learn to voice your opinion, views, and beliefs to the world.


The three most commonly used points of view are the first, second, and third points of view. A narrative has a consistent point of view, usually from the first point of view, which is the perspective of the narrator. The conflict of a story is the inner or outer struggle of the protagonist to fulfil their desires. The central conflict may be internal, external, or some combination of both. The rest of the characters are referred to as side characters. Writers use narrator style, chronological order, a point of view, and other strategies to tell a story.

If we start our story on a rocket ship hurtling through the cosmos on its space voyage to the Alpha Centauri star system, we can be reasonably sure that the story we are embarking on is a work of science fiction. It is a sequence of events, not necessarily arranged in chronological order, told by a narrator, happening in a particular place at a particular time. Narration is creating a world based on the writer’s imagination. It is also revisiting a world based on the author’s memory. In either case, the reader is aimed to be transported from one’s real world to the reality of the story being read. As well as any other college paper, a narrative essay has its structure. But given that it’s kinda informal writing about your personal experience in real life, it will have a format and elements peculiar to narratives .

Setting Backdrop

This technique uses extreme exaggeration to create a lasting impression or create strong feelings in the reader. The character of Jo March is commonly believed to represent author Louisa May Alcott in the classic American novel, Little Women. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is one of the most notable examples of flash forward in classic literature.

The answer to these questions will lead you to the significance of your narrative. The third person POV is generally used to convey the narrator as an omniscient and dispassionate observer. The what is a controlling idea narrator is all-knowing; this trait enables the reader to see not only the dialogue that happens between or among the characters, but also the characters’ innermost thoughts and desires.

Your creative journey starts here

Still not sure if your narrative essay is ready to captivate readers and earn you A+? You may ask professional here on Bid4Papers for help and advanced tips on essay writing.

characteristics of narrative writing

It has different characters, dialogue, and detailed descriptions of the setting. Establishing a point of view for a narrator allows the writer to filter the events through a particular character. The most common point of view in fiction is the omniscient (all-knowing) narrator who has access to all the thoughts and experiences of each of her characters.

Both are about human interaction with bears, but the difference is the first is a made-up story about a girl meeting some bears, while the second is reporting on facts about bears. A story has many obvious differences from a statistical report. ‘Goldilocks’ is an example of narrative writing, which is any kind of writing that tells a story. A historical narrative follows a linear timeline to tell the story of an actual event or series of events. A narrative can contain multiple stories or subplots and this technique is a good example of that.

characteristics of narrative writing

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