Elements of Narrative Writing

PLOT
a series of incidents that are related to one another, what happens in a story, includes 5 stages (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution)
EXPOSITION
usually in the beginning of a story, where the characters, setting, and conflict (problem) are introduced
RISING ACTION
the part of the story where the conflict(s) develop, in which the suspense and interest builds
CLIMAX
the turning point or most exciting moment of a story, in which the main character comes face to face with the main conflict and a change happens
FALLING ACTION
all the loose ends of the plot are tied up, the conflict and climax are taken care of in this part of the story, and the suspense is eased
RESOLUTION
where the story comes to a reasonable ending and the outcome is resolved
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SETTING
the time and place of the action of a story, where and when it happens
CHARACTERS
the people, animals, or imaginary creatures that take part in a story
CONFLICT
the main problem or struggle between different forces in a story, keeps the action moving forward, can be EXTERNAL or INTERNAL
EXTERNAL CONFLICT
a struggle between the character and an outside force (another character, group of characters, or nature)
INTERNAL CONFLICT
a struggle within a character’s mind which happens when a character must deal with opposing thoughts or feelings
PROTAGONIST
the main character in a story, involved in the main conflict, usually seen as hero/heroine, and usually goes through a change as the plot runs its course
ANTAGONIST
a force working against the protagonist (main character) in a story, usually another character, but can be a force of nature, society, or an internal force w/in the main character, usually seen as the bad guy/villain
DYNAMIC CHARACTER
undergoes an important change in the story that occurs as the plot unfolds, comes to a realization that permanently changes them (protagonist is usually dynamic, but not always)
STATIC CHARACTER
remains the same throughout a story, and while something may happen to them, they do not change as a result of the events of the plot
THEME
the important lesson, moral, or teaching we gain from looking closely at the characters’ actions, as well as the events and outcomes of the story
AUTOBIOGRAPHY
is the story of the writer’s own life, told by the writer
BIOGRAPHY
the life story of a person told by someone else
DIALOGUE
a conversation between characters, usually set off by quotation marks to indicate a speaker’s exact words
FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE
writing or speech that is not meant to be taken literally. It is used by writers to state ideas in vivid or imaginative ways
NARRATIVE WRITING
includes characters, conflict, setting, and a plot and is usually written to share a theme (moral, or teaching) with the reader
POINT OF VIEW
the perspective, or vantage point, from which a story is told
SENSORY DETAILS
Words and phrases that help readers see, hear, taste, feel, or smell what the author is describing
CHARACTERIZATION
the process a writer uses to create and develop a character, and gives the reader details about a character’s actions, thoughts, words, relationships and emotions
NON-FICTION
Writing that presents and explains ideas or that tells about real people, places, or events
FICTION
narrative writing that is invented or imagined
AUDIENCE
those for whom a piece of writing is intended
TRANSITIONS
words or phrases that help make smooth connections between parts of a text
SIMILE
a comparison between two things that are not alike using the words “like” or “as” (ex. “X is like Y”)
METAPHOR
a comparison between two things that are not alike without using the words “like” or “as” (ex. X is Y)
PERSONIFICATION
to give human characteristics to something that is not human (ex. The branches were waving at me.)
HYPERBOLE
an obvious and intentional exaggeration (ex. I have a ton of homework.)
ONOMATOPOEIA
words that are sounds (ex, zap, pow, buzz, whoosh)
ALLITERATION
repetition of the first consonant sound (ex. She sells seashells by the seashore.)
IMAGERY
words that create an image in the reader’s mind that allow us to see what is not directly stated in the text, writing that shows instead of tells