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Writing Narratives

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Writing a narrative

      Narratives tell stories. When you write a narrative you should consider both the five elements of stories and the four stages of a plot.

      Every story has five necessary elements. A story, or narrative, has characters, a setting, a conflict, a plot, and a theme. The characters are the people, animals, or imaginary creatures in the story. The setting is the time and place of the story. The conflict is the problem that is presented and solved in the story. The characters' actions revolve around developing and solving the conflict. The plot is the events that make up the story. The theme is either what you as the writer want your  audience to learn about life from the story or the lessons you yourself learned from the story. The story’s theme should be “woven” into the narrative and highlighted in the falling action.

      The conflict of the story is introduced, developed, turned, and resolved in the story's four stages: exposition, rising action, climax (turning point), and falling actions (also known as resolution or denouement). The exposition is a short part at the beginning of the story where the characters and setting are introduced and the reader is given a hint as to the story's conflict. The conflict of the story is developed during the rising action. The rising action is most of the story even up to 90% or more. What happens at the end of the rising action that brings about a solution to the conflict is called the climax or turning point. The climax should be a single, easily identifiable event. How the problem is fully resolved is presented in the falling action. The falling action, like the exposition, is a relatively short part of the story. 

      When writing a narrative you should carefully plan and list the story’s elements and use a plot diagram as part of the prewriting process.


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Edited by


Christian Andrews
05/12/2011 10:01:54 AM

Added by


Christian Andrews
05/12/2011 9:56:19 AM

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narrative, writing

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