1. Read the Navigating Narrative Writing article below.
2. Decide what genre your story will be, and then fill in the blanks on the blank outline template using the character that I made.
Navigating Narrative Writing
What is Narrative
The word narrative describes a story (fiction or non-fiction) told and the structure with which it is presented. One of the most crucial decisions to make when conceptualizing your narrative is which perspective you’ll use to guide your reader through it. Often people feel comfortable proceeding with a narrator (a character or number of characters who tell the story from their perspective) for their readers to explore the narrative with. Other times people choose to give either a bird’s eye view (a limited, overall perspective of what’s going on) or a god’s eye view (a complex, intricate, and all-knowing perspective of what’s going on with the characters) to share the narrative with the reader.
How you choose the best perspective to share your narrative will depend on who your main character is and what their universe looks like. Their universe (the setting) includes where they are when they exist and what the cultural or sociopolitical climate of their lives are. Different narrative genres come almost pre-packaged with the type of universe you’d create for your characters. You may already have a leaning toward romance, action, comedy, drama, or horror since most creatives are used to consuming narratives from one or all of those genres via movies, tv shows, video games, and music.
Narrative writing tells other stories from our personal perspectives and experiences or the stories and experiences of others (real or imagined) that we consider important or significant for one reason or another. They allow us, ultimately, to explore humanity and learn new things via the empathetic and sympathetic “relationships” we develop with characters while reading (books and comics), viewing (movies and tv shows), listening to (music, story-based podcasts, audiobooks) or interacting with (video games) their narrative.
Types of Narratives
As alluded to in the previous section, there is a number of narrative forms that we experience in our lives. Some of the primary ones are poetry (songs), drama (performed narratives), non-fictives, prose, and fictive prose, and fictive prose. Many find their inspiration for films, tv shows, video games, and songs from fiction and nonfiction books, so narratives are continuously complex and versatile given their ability to be created and recreated based on the audience we aim to reach. For the sake of this course, we’ll focus more on poetry, drama, and fictive prose.
Poetry is a form that follows a meter (Stressed and unstressed) syllabic pattern that creates certain rhythms with each line. Whenever songs are written, they are carrying forward a complex history of the world’s poetic rhythms and syllabic rules. Those of you who are aiming for careers in music will learn more about the construction of songs in future classes but, here is where you’ll get to identify and/or design narratives that can feed into your songwriting content.
Drama is a narrative form that is written, specifically, to be performed in front of an audience. Its written text contains dialogue and stage directions. Those of you who are film and animation majors will able in this presentation of the narrative quite frequently. It’ll be important for you to be especially mindful of the visual aspects of the narrative you’re crafting. Explore carefully the best ways to describe how your characters look, how their surroundings look, and how those aspects interact with each other.
Fiction (or Fictive Prose)
Fiction allows authors to project the content of their imaginations to their readers by using complex figurative language to vividly described characters and plot arcs. Unlike poetry, fiction is bound by standard grammatical rules. However, it is not uncommon for writers to incorporate musical rhythms in the syllabic construction of their fiction when describing something that they want to really stick in the minds of their readers. Fictional work may incorporate fantastical ideas or ideas that more closely resemble everyday life as long as they’re presented with exposition (description and explanation), foreshadowing (hints that indicate how certain occurrences and character interactions may affect the overall story), rising action (the building energy that comes from whatever conflict or problem the characters must face), climax (the point that everything comes together and the outcome of all the building action is revealed), falling action (the aftermath), and resolution (how the story ends and how things have changed since the climax happened)
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