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Literary Terminology
Creative Writing

What are the elements of a narrative?


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Answered 2015-02-26 15:27:46

Elements of a narrative:

Setting - Where the story takes place; usually every scene has a change of setting.

Character - Description of the character and a little of their background.

Plot - The series of events that unfold in the story.

Conflict - The struggle between two opposing forces.

Climax - The strongest part of the story, where the conflict builds up to the emotional peak.

Resolution - Where the conflict is resolved.

Another user defines it this way:

The elements of narrative are the plot, style, theme, point of crew, exposition, resolution, climax, conflict, characters, and setting.

Six Elements of a Narrative:

Plot: the sequence of events that take place in a story.

Setting: the time and place in which the events of a story take place.

Characterization: the methods used to present the personality of a character in a narrative.

Direct--the author describes the character. Example--She was a large woman with a large purse.

Indirect--the reader judges what the character is like based on what they say or do, or what other characters say about them. Example--We believe the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is crazy because he talks nervously and frequently repeats himself.

Atmosphere: the general mood or feeling established in a piece of literature. Atmosphere is created through word choice and pacing.

Word Choice--the author uses words that make the reader feel a certain way. A spooky atmosphere is created in "The Tell-Tale Heart" through the use of words like "hideous," "marrow," "chilled," and "nervous."

Pacing--the author controls the speed at which we read through sentence length, punctuation, repetition of words and other techniques.

Point of View: who is narrating the story (2 main types: First Person, Third Person)

First person: the narrator uses "I" to tell the action, and is involved in the story.

Third person: the story is told from a perspective outside the story. The characters are referred to by name, or as he, she or they.

Conflict: the central problem that drives the action of a story. (two main types)

Internal: The conflict happens in a character's mind. A character with a guilty conscience is an example of internal conflict.

External: The conflict happens between characters, or between a character and some outside force, like nature. Sherlock Holmes pursuing a criminal is an example of external conflict.

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