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Writing a Great Narrative. OCHS English Mr. Allen. Start with a hook?. Beginning at the end… Story within a story… An anecdote, quote, or joke… SHOCK! Beginning with a pastoral description of the setting… Others? What do the above things look like?. Setting.

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Writing a great narrative

Writing a Great Narrative

OCHS English

Mr. Allen


Start with a hook
Start with a hook?

  • Beginning at the end…

  • Story within a story…

  • An anecdote, quote, or joke…

  • SHOCK!

  • Beginning with a pastoral description of the setting…

  • Others? What do the above things look like?


Setting
Setting

  • Make sure to describe the setting. Use:

  • Sensory descriptions. This happens when we show the reader the setting by describing it through the human senses of:

    • Taste

    • Smell

    • Sight

    • Touch

    • Sound


Setting cont
Setting (cont.)

  • Beyond sensory details, what is the environment like? For example:

    • If it’s Sci-Fi or Fantasy, how did this world come to be? What are the rules, how is it different?

    • What are the people (or beings) like in the community?

    • What are the circumstances? Is there a crisis, war, or is everything perfectly normal?


Make your characters memorable
Make Your Characters Memorable

  • What do they look like?

  • What motivates them? What do they want?

  • What are they afraid of? What do they worry about?

  • Inner monologue: what are they thinking?

  • How do they speak? How do they use their voice?


Conflict
Conflict

  • Every narrative has to have a conflict—a problem that the characters encounter and deal with in some way.

  • What are some possible kinds of conflicts that might drive a story?


Build to a climax
Build to a Climax

  • Rule 1: Keep secrets. Don’t tell the reader everything. Hint at what is going to happen without revealing the truth.

  • Rule 2: Things happen by accident, or occur at random.

  • Rule 3: Characters, usually the protagonist, make a mistake, or several, that help to cause the conflict.


The climax
The Climax

  • Must be visceral (what does visceral mean)—the reader must FEEL what is happening, and it must be raw and contain emotion.

  • There must be action. Action can be as simple as heated dialogue, or it could be a full blown war, but you must show the reader action.

  • The conflict, one way or the other, must be resolved. Good or bad, there must be winners and losers.


A conclusion that satisfies
A Conclusion that Satisfies

  • How was the conflict solved—what was the fallout?

  • What lessons were learned? What did the characters learn?

  • AVOID THE OBVIOUS! And they all lived happily ever after leaves the reader feeling shallow—give them something deeper and more meaningful.


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