Based on perception in time. Narration is the telling of a story; the succession of events is given in chronological order.
Purpose The basic purpose of narrative is to entertain, to gain and hold a readers' interest. However narratives can also be written to teach or inform, to change attitudes / social opinions e.g. soap operas and television dramas that are used to raise topical issues. Narratives sequence people/characters in time and place but differ from recounts in that through the sequencing, the stories set up one or more problems, which must eventually find a way to be resolved. The common structure or basic plan of narrative text is known as the "story grammar." Although there are numerous variations of the story grammar, the typical elements are: • Setting—when and where the story occurs. • Characters—the most important people or players in the story. • Initiating event—an action or occurrence that establishes a problem and/or goal. • Conflict/goal—the focal point around which the whole story is organized. • Events—one or more attempts by the main character(s) to achieve the goal or solve the problem. • Resolution—the outcome of the attempts to achieve the goal or solve the problem. • Theme—the main idea or moral of the story. The graphic representation of these story grammar elements is called a story map. The exact form and complexity of a map depends, of course, upon the unique structure of each narrative and the personal preference of the teacher constructing the map.
Types of Narrative There are many types of narrative. They can be imaginary, factual or a combination of both. They may include fairy stories, mysteries, science fiction, romances, horror stories, adventure stories, fables, myths and legends, historical narratives, ballads, slice of life, personal experience. Features • Characters with defined personalities/identities. • Dialogue often included - tense may change to the present or the future. • Descriptive language to create images in the reader's mind and enhance the story.
Structure In a Traditional Narrative the focus of the text is on a series of actions: Orientation: (introduction) in which the characters, setting and time of the story are established. Usually answers who? When? Where? E.g. Mr. Wolf went out hunting in the forest one dark gloomy night.
Complication or problem: The complication usually involves the main character(s) (often mirroring the complications in real life).
Resolution: There needs to be a resolution of the complication. The complication may be resolved for better or worse/happily or unhappily. Sometimes there are a number of complications that have to be resolved. These add and sustain interest and suspense for the reader. Further more, when there is plan for writing narrative texts, the focus should be on the following characteristics: • Plot: What is going to happen? • Setting: Where will the story take place? When will the story take place? • Characterization: Who are the main characters? What do they look like? • Structure: How will the story begin? What will be the problem? How is the problem going to be resolved? • Theme: What is the theme / message the writer is attempting to communicate?