Language of Narration
● We use the language of narration to give an account of events, real or imagined.
● It is the most common form of language we use.
● The art and skill of storytelling. How the story is told.
● Consider the wealth of material you have already covered in studying literary genre, as the language of narration is the same.
● It can include: novels, plays, autobiographies, memoirs, reviews, poems, letters.
● The language of narration can and should contain an element of aesthetic language.
Techniques - characteristics
1. Narrative structure
a. Exposition - set up of setting and characters
c. Rising action/Climax - pivotal moment - consequences
d. Resolution - outcome of the story (tragedy, happy ending, open ended, cliffhanger)
2. Genre - it describes the style and focus of the novel you write. Genres give you blueprints for different types of stories. Genres have their own predictable conventions. Some include:
c. Science Fiction
f. Young Adult
h. Magic realism
3. Narrative voice - the angle from which the author tells the story.
a. First Person Narrative – the narrator uses “I” and participates in the action.
b. Third Person Narrative – the narrator uses “he” and “she” and is an outside observer.
c. Omniscient – narrator can see, know and tell all of the characters of a story.
d. Limited Omniscient – narrator can only see, know and tell all of one character.
e. Objective – narrator describes the characters statements but doesn’t reveal thoughts or feelings.
4. Setting - the background where the action takes place. Historical - specific - universal - linked to a particular time frame
5. Time Frame - past, present future / chronological and or flashbacks
6. Characterisation - protagonist - antagonist - central - Types include: Hero/Villain, or central, dynamic, well-rounded, well-developed VS static, stock,- stereotypical, or those that challenge controversial, subversive, a maverick, a rebel or secondary characters.
7. Plot - what action takes place
a. Internal - within the mind of the character
b. Explicit - between characters
c. External -with society
9. Suspense - anticipation as to the outcome of events.
10. Tone, mood and atmosphere - attitude present - is it humorous, sentimental, critical, ominous, threatening, depression, stiflying, - must suit the genre
11. Foreshadowing - gives an advance hint of what is to come later in the story.
12. Sensuous imagery - evoking the senses - sight, touch, taste, feel
13. Descriptive language - adjectives, vivid verbs, distinctive language
14. Distinctive language/Specialist vocabulary - diction i.e. the choice of words used and includes any of the following special registers (medical or legal), terminology, jargon, lexicon, lingo, slang, colloquial language
15. Dialogue - conversation between characters - provides and implicit insight into characters appearance, motivation and reactions
16. Figurative language - metaphor, simile, personification
17. Irony - contrast or contradiction of what is expected and what results.
a. Verbal irony – occurs when a character or narrator says one thing
b. but means the opposite.
c. Dramatic irony – occurs when the reader knows more than the character.
d. Situational irony – occurs when the contrast between what appears to be and what actually exists.
18. Symbolism - a similar object, action, person, or place or something else that stands for something abstract.
Writing Narrative - tips
● Always identify your audience
● Use the correct language and tone for your audience
● Write in the past tense and don’t mix tenses
● Write in chronological order or flashback
● Your story must have a clear shape
● Avoid using too much dialogue
● Characters should be real recognisable people - easy to relate to. You can reveal
your character through your descriptive dialogue