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6 Types of Narrative Writing

narrative writing

A narrative is simply a written account that provides readers access to events that are connected to each other within the context of a story. This means there are several types of narrative writing that can be used to convey the necessary messages. Even plays, music, and movies benefit from the various forms of narrative writing that exist.

For that reason, it is important to identify as a writer what types of narrative writing make you comfortable. This way you can follow the story you are most passionate about and be able to accurately communicate that passion to the reader.

6 Different Types of Narrative Writing

Although there are different types of narrative writing, each has the same goal: to help the reader be able to engage their imagination so they can picture the events which are occurring within the story. Here are the different types of narrative writing to consider.

1. Alliteration: This type of narrative is used to create repetition through the rhythms and structures of the actual words that are being offered to the reader. It’s often thought of through the use of a repetitive letter: “Mix a box of mixed biscuits with a boxed biscuit mixer.” Sentence rhythm can also be a form of alliteration when you’re using similar syllable numbers or similar words throughout a paragraph or page.

2. Hyperbole: This type of narrative writing is used when an over-exaggeration is necessary to make a point. We use hyperbole every day. If you are “so hungry that you could eat a horse,” then you are using this technique to describe just how hungry you are. This type of narrative is not intended to be read in the literal sense. It is instead intended to provide a better description of what is really going on with a character or event.

3. Imagery: This type of narrative writing will create a visual reference for the reader. It appeals to the senses of the reader through figurative language that makes sights, sounds, and even smells seem tangible and real. Descriptive language is used to describe items within the narrative. Something might be “Bright and Joyous” or it may be “Dark and Gloomy.”

4. Metaphors: This type of narrative writing incorporates a figure of speech that equates two ideas, situations, or even characters together. If you’ve ever studied Shakespeare, then you’ve seen a number of metaphors in action. “All the world’s a stage.” That’s a metaphor. We know the planet isn’t actually a stage in the literal sense. The metaphor is simply used to convey an idea about the mechanics of how humanity isn’t really in control of how they enter or exit the world… or behave within it.

5. Personification: This type of narrative writing gives objects without life certain human characteristics or animal-like qualities. “The rocks shuddered at the coming storm.” We all know that the rocks themselves cannot shudder, but the wind of an incoming storm could make them move and shudder. The personification here, however, is directed more at the fear people sometimes feel when a big storm is headed their way. People shudder when a storm is severe, which means they can directly relate to the rocks shuddering.

6. Similes: This type of narrative writing compares two things together, but one of those things is very different than the other. The goal is to create a description that is more vivid to the reader, or at the least more emphatic. If someone is “crazy like a fox,” then the description used would be a simile. It is important to remember that a simile differs from a metaphor because it typically uses connective words to complete the description, such as “like” in the example used above.

Additional Techniques That Can Be Used

When we think of a narrative, we must also think of the sequence being used to convey ideas to the reader. Each of the different types of narrative writing can take advantage of using backstory techniques, flashback techniques, or even flash-forward techniques to help the reader understand more about what is going on within the context of the story.

Some narratives can even use dream sequences to convey the right message. Take A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. When Ebenezer Scrooge encounters the ghosts, you’re getting a backstory, a flashback, and a flash-forward all within the context of the same event.

Most writers are going to use several different types of narrative writing in order to craft their story. Several different techniques can be used at the same time as well. This allows the writer to accurately communicate with the reader while still showing the reader what is going on instead of telling them what to think or believe, creating a memorable narrative in the process.

[bctt tweet=”Are you using these 6 literary devices in your narrative writing? #amwriting #writetip #fiction” username=”@networlding”]

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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