What is a Narrative?

A narrative is a piece of writing that is a story. You want to write that up here on the board, because that’s important to remember. A narrative is a story. Notice in the word narrative that it kind of sounds like the word “narrator” or “narration”. When you think of a narrator, it’s generally the person in a play that guides the audience through the story and tells what’s going on. In the same way, a narrative is basically telling the reader a chain of events.

We get it’s a story, and it can be nonfiction or fiction (as long as it is a story). There are certain characteristics that a piece of writing must have in order to be considered a narrative. First of all, it must have a plot. A plot is the meat of the story. It starts out with the problem that arises in the story, how the characters try to overcome that problem, and then finally ends with the characters overcoming the problem.

Notice that I talked about the characters doing things in the plot. That’s the second thing a narrative must have: characters. These characters can be people, animals, or things, but generally it’s going to be people. There has to be some kind of interaction between the characters in order to form the plot, which forms the narrative. Finally, a narrative is going to include figurative language.

Figurative language is something that’s not totally true. Think of a metaphor, which is a type of figurative language. If I were to say, “The moon was a frosty snowball,” look at that sentence. “The moon was a frosty snowball.” Notice here, the moon wasn’t actually a frosty snowball, but the writer is saying the moon looked like a frosty snowball. That’s an example of figurative language.

This is an example of a metaphor. Any kind of narrative is going to include sentences like this one that leave some things up to the reader’s imagination. The important thing to remember about a narrative is that it tells a story.


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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: December 20, 2023