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By chananamehak Jul 15, 2014 1855 Words
A narrative is any account of connected events, presented to a reader or listener in a sequence of written or spoken words or in sequence of pictures. A narrative is a story that is created in a constructive format (as a work of writing, speech, poetry, prose, pictures, song, motion pictures, video games, theatre or dance) that describes a sequence of fictional or non-fictional events. The word "story" may be used as a synonym of "narrative", but can also be used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative. A narrative can also be told by a character within a larger narrative. An important part of narration is the narrative mode, the set of methods used to communicate the narrative through a process called narration. Stories are an important aspect of culture. Many works of art and most works of literature, tell stories; indeed, most of the humanities involve stories. When we think of narratives, we usually think of it as art, however modest, we think of it as novels or sagas or folk tales or , at least , as anecdotes. We speak of a gift for story telling. But as true as it is that narrative can be an art and that art thrives on narratives, narrative is also something we all engage in , artist and non artist alike. We make narratives make times a day , everyday of our lives. And we start doing so almost from the moment we begin putting words together. As soon as we follow a subject with a verb , there is a good chance we are engaged in narrative discourse. “I fell down”, the child cries, and in the process tells her mother a little narrative, just as I have told in this still unfinished sentence a different, somewhat longer narrative that includes the action of the Childs telling. We could slow the whole sequence down simply by adding details , and in the process, we would have expanded time. “the child feel down. After a while she gets up and ran, until at last , seeing her mother, she burst into tears. “I fell down” she cried. There ,”said her mother .”that must have hurt”.” Expanding it more

“the child fell down. she sat where she had fallen, her eyes frightened, her lower lip trembling. She rubbed her knee. Was it bleeding? No, but the skin was scrapped. Where qas her mother? Carefully , she got to her feet and started running..” Expanding it even more

“there , there ,” said her mother, “that must have hurt “.In the following months, the child fell often. But slowly she acquired confidence and eventually stopped falling altogether. In deed , as a young woman , the assurance of her gait would command attention whenever she entered a room full of people _ people who would have found it hard to imagine that this was once a little girl who fell down all the time. FORMS OF NARRATIVES

Captivity narrative — the protagonist is captured and describes his experience with the other culture Epic poem – a lengthy story of heroic exploits in the form of a poem Fable – a story that teaches a lesson, often using animal characters that behave like people Fantasy – a story about characters that may not be realistic and about events that could not really happen Folk tale – an old story that reveals the customs of a culture Historical fiction – stories about characters who might have lived in the past and about events that might have really happened in history, with some made up details and events Legend – a story that is based on fact but often includes exaggerations about the hero Myth – an ancient story often meant to explain the mysteries of life or nature Play – a story that is told mostly through dialogue and is meant to be performed on stage Quest narrative — the characters must achieve a goal. This includes some illness narratives Realistic fiction – stories that portray characters and settings that could exist in real life, as well as events that could happen in real life Short story – a brief story that usually focuses on one character and one event Tall tale – a humorous story that tells about impossible happenings, exaggerating the accomplishment of the hero News - an information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience Biography - a detailed description or account of someone's life Autobiography - a detailed description or account of the storyteller's own life. Parable - stories of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Narrator types
First Person
1. The Protagonist
Relatively straightforward, this is a story the hero narrates. He’ll narrate the same way he talks, but with more description and perhaps better grammar. The reader is privy to all his thoughts and opinions, which means we get to know the hero faster, and often relate to him more easily. Example:

…I take up my pen in the year of grace 17–, and go back to the time when my father kept the “Admiral Benbow” inn, and the brown old seaman, with the saber cut, first took up his lodging under our roof. Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson

2. The Secondary Character
Someone close to the protagonist, but not the main hero. The same things in the above type apply to this type, but the focus of the story moves away from the narrator. Example:
“Dr. Watson, Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” said Stamford, introducing us. “How are you?” he said cordially, gripping my hand with a strength for which I should hardly have given him credit. “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” “How on earth did you know that?” I asked in astonishment. “Never mind,” said he, chuckling to himself.

Watson in A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Third Person
Third person omniscient
This type knows all, peeking into the lives of major and minor characters, reading everyone’s thoughts. This enables the writer to explore multiple facets of the story in depth. Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart trilogy, for example. Third person limited

This type knows only what the main character, or characters, know. This is more restrictive, but increases suspense and intrigue, because the reader only solves the mystery at the same time the characters do. 1984, by George Orwell, is a good example. The following types can fall into either omniscient or limited: 3. The Detached Observer

A detached third person narrator sticks to telling the story, and never inserts his own opinions—never slips in an “I” or a “me” except in direct dialogue. You probably won’t notice voice at all. It’s fruitless to give an excerpt showing what a writer didn’t do, but Orwell’s 1984 is, again, a good example. 4. The Commentator

This type never physically enters the story, but freely adds in his own amusing commentary. Allows voice without the complication of using an existing character. Example:
The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face-to-face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens

Somewhere in Between
Or maybe the narrator isn’t a strict “third person,” but is involved in the story in some way. 5. The Interviewer
This type has collected the details of the story after it happened, such as by interviewing the characters. This lends a sense of reality to the story. Example:
It brought both a smell and a sound, a musical sound. Edmund and Eustace would never talk about it afterwards. Lucy could only say, “It would break your heart.” “Why,” said I, “was it so sad?” “Sad! No,” said Lucy. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C.S. Lewis

6. The Secret Character
Sometimes a narrator only pretends to removed from the story—they may refer to themselves in third person right up to the end, but will eventually be mentioned by some other character, or revealed to be a major character, even the villain, for an extra-pleasing plot twist. Example:

“Lemony?” Violet repeated. “They would have named me Lemony? Where did they get that idea?” “From someone who died, presumably,” Klaus said.
The End, by Lemony Snicket
7. The Unreliable Narrator
Usually first person, but occasionally third, an unreliable narrator has a flawed point of view. That is, the writer intentionally made him biased, misinformed, insane, etc. It’s difficult to find a single passage that illustrates this, but examples include Nelly in Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë, or Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. Read more about unreliable narrators here. –

Some of these (such as the Unreliable Narrator) are established terms, while I’ve coined many of them myself. Can you think of any other types? What type are you using in your work in progress? Types of narrative texts.


1. Fantasy
Examples include traditional tales
like fairy tails, tall tales, legends,
and myth and contemporary
creations such as the Harry Potter

Author’s imagination is not
restricted by physical
reality/natural law

Once author makes up the rules
for the imagined setting, s/he must
be consistent in following them.

Improbable setting and situations

Can have improbable characters
like animals with human
characteristics and mythical beasts;
can have more realistic characters
beside imaginative ones

Plot frequently that of hero’s
quest: hero proves worthy of the
quest (may early be fumbling and
unsure); hero encounters trials
along the way (must be wise and
courageous); hero is accompanied
by friends or mentor; hero’s
actions are to protect others from
evil; hero may question self or
become confused
about good and
bad; hear defeats evil

2.Science fiction
Speculative fiction based on
the real world with all its
established facts and natural
laws (Robert Heinlein)

May use different “laws” of
another planet, even a make-
believe planet, but laws must
be scientifically plausible and

Story is usually an adventure
that includes travel and
danger, pursuing new

Contemporary problems are
projected hundreds of years
into the future:
overpopulation, pollution,
religious or racial disharmony,
political structures, scientific
advances (e.g., genetic
engineering, computerization
3.Realistic fiction
Examples include the more
specific genre such as
adventure, mystery, and

Setting realistic for the time

Characters are believable in
their action and have human
insight and weaknesses

4.Historical fiction
Demonstrates the characteristics of realistic fiction.
Reveals historical events but
not restricted by them.

Author may be creative
without making historical

Historical setting is an
authentic and integral part of
the story

Examples include news and
magazine articles, essays, and
biographies, textbooks like
History of US

Topic is something that is true
or real.

The information is told like a

The order of events is clear,
even though the information
may not be presented in a
direct chronological manner
There is an overarching, main
or controlling idea to the

The main idea is what is being
said about the topic


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