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5 Proven Narrative Writing Tips

A narrative needs to do more than just tell a good story. It also needs to convey that there is a meaning to the story as well. In order to develop an effective narrative, there is a certain process which can be helpful to follow. This will allow you to take the narrative further so that it can capture the imagination of the reader while communicating the specific points you wish to make in your story.

Step #1: Prewrite the Narrative

The goal of this first step is for you to gather your thoughts as a writer. If you were writing an autobiography, you would select the memories and stories you’d wish to share. If you were writing a novel, you might think about the backgrounds of each character and what the role each will play in your story.

When you can make an emotional connection as a writer through this prewriting process, you can begin to create a narrative which will connect on multiple levels with a future reader. It can still work without emotion, but it will be less effective. It’s one part outline, one part personal investment, and one part creativity.

Step #2: Draft the Narrative

This is a good place to begin developing the actual voice of the narrative. You can choose from first, second, or third person voice depending on what type of written work you are creating. A personal narrative will generally be first person, but a fictional novel could be third person.

During this draft, make sure the narrative doesn’t ignore any details. A reader has no knowledge about the events which are taking place. They need the narrative to give them detailed descriptions, illustrative words, yet still within a conversational tone so it can be pictured as the words are read.

If the work is non-fiction in nature, put these details into the facts being presented. This will give the information more life so that it can be recalled more effectively by the reader later on.

Step #3: Give the Narrative a Second Draft

In this step, you’re basically going to rewrite everything that you just wrote in the previous step. The goal here is to make sure the narrative unfolds in a logical format. You can’t just go from Step #1 to Step #4 to Step #6 to Step #2 and have the narrative make sense to the reader unless you’re creating a new Choose Your Own Adventure story.

In this step, you’ll want to specifically look for places where the reader has been included with the experience. See if you can details to enhance the experience. See if details need to be eliminated because they are too distracting. Be descriptive, but also be informative.

Step #4: Edit the Narrative

This is supposed to be the easiest part of the narrative writing process, but it usually ends up being the most time consuming and frustrating step of all. As much as you can read something on a screen or even on paper, there are mistakes that are going to be missed. The most effective way to edit your narrative is to read it out loud. This editing process works if you’re by yourself, but if you can read your narrative to someone else, you’ll be able to get some extra feedback about what you’ve written.

It might also be a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member give the narrative a good read and offer some suggestions. An extra set of eyes never hurts and the fresh perspective can add more depth to the final result.

Some writers may choose to have a professional take care of this step for them. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, but professional editing services can be several thousand dollars if the narrative is the length of a novel.

Step #5. Get It Published

This is the final step in the narrative process. It’s exciting because you get to share your work with other people. It’s also a very nervous step to take because every writer is a little sensitive to the feedback others will have about their work. That sensitivity can be so great, in fact, that some writers choose not to publish their narrative because they don’t want to experience negative feedback at all.

That’s why this final step has been included as part of the process. If you do get negative feedback, use it to make your next narrative be even better than this one.

These narrative writing tips can help your writing evolve to the next level. Take your time, keep the voice of your narrative consistent, and you’ll be able to write something that will have an impact on everyone who happens to read it.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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