NarrativeNarrative, Narrative Analysis, and Narrative Writing
NarrativeNarrative: a collection of events that tells a story, which may be true or not, placed in a particular order and recounted through either telling or writing.
Plot and SubplotPlot: A plot in a story is quite simply the things that happen in it. The plot is the main story line: the sequence of events of which the story is composed. The plot is the main storyline, what happens to your characters.
Subplot: Sub-plots are secondary storylines that are separate from the main plot but happen within the same story. They often interact with the main plot and can support the main story.
Basic Plot Diagram
ExpositionThe beginning of any narrative story is called the Exposition. You will usually learn three things in the exposition: Characters (esp. main) SettingThe conflict. Information is often conveyed about events that have occurred prior to the beginning of a novel. Etc.
Rising ActionAfter the relative calm of the exposition, there is a gradual raising of the tension in the story using danger, hazard, conflict and other devices. The protagonist is usually deeply involved in this, struggling with other people and their own ability to handle the tension.
ConflictConflict is a clash of actions, ideas, desires or wills.A. Human against human (wo/man vs. wo/man): External StruggleB. Human against environment (wo/man vs. society or wo/man vs. nature): Moral Struggle or Struggle against Fate: External force, physical nature, society, or fate.C. Human against Herself/Himself (wo/man vs. self): Internal Struggle: Conflict with some element in her/his own nature; maybe physical, mental, emotional, or moral.
ConflictThere are two main kinds of conflict in stories: external and internal.External Conflict: A struggle between a character and an outside force is an external conflict. The outside force may be another character. It may be the character and the community. The outside force may also be forces of nature.Human against Human (Human against Society), etc.Human against Nature
Conflict (Continued)Internal Conflict: A conflict that takes place in a characters mind is called internal conflict. For example, a character may have to decide between right and wrong or between two solutions to a problem. Sometimes, a character must deal with his or her own mixed feelings or emotions.Human against Self
ClimaxThe Climax, also called turning point in short stories, is the most suspenseful part of the story where the main character (s) solves the problem or makes some major life changing decision or discovery. The actions of the main character or events that happen at the climax affect the resolution.
Falling ActionThings that happen after the climax but before the real ending/resolution of the story are called falling action.
Resolution Resolution is how the story finally ends as a result of what the character (s) did or discovered during the climax.Resolution or denouement - the outcome of the story--the information that ties up all (or many) of the story's loose ends.
AnalepsisAnalepsis: ana: A Greek prefix meaning, back.Analepsis: is commonly referred to in film as flashback. Analepsis flashes back to an earlier point of the chronological sequence in a narrative/story.
Prolepsis Prolepsis:pro: a Greek prefix meaning advancing or projecting forward.Prolepsis: is commonly referred to in film as a flashforward. Prolepsis flashes forward to a later point in the chronological sequence of events.
ForeshadowingFORESHADOWING:An authors use of hints or clues to suggest events that will occur later in the story. Not all foreshadowing is obvious. Frequently, future events are merely hinted at through dialogue, description, or the attitudes and reactions of the characters.
Point of ViewThe narrator is the character or voice that tells a story. Point of view refers to the perspective from which a story is told, or the voice in which a story is told. Point of view also helps determine: a storys tone how much a reader learns about characters a readers opinion of characters a readers involvement in the story
Point of View
First Person Narrative Limitations (pros and cons)-A first person narrative can only tell the reader what the narrator knows. It limits the amount and type of information the writer can deliver.In first person we can only control what the narrator sees, hears, and smells.First person is all about character: not only does the reader know (intellectually) what the narrator knows, he or she also feels (emotionally) and senses all that the narrator experiences, thus making the first person narration more personal and intimate.First person point of view also forces the writer to make a choice between whose story they want to tell: major or minor, Frankenstein or the monster? The Boy or the Tree?
Third Person Point of View (Intro.)-Third Person Point of View (especially omniscient) gives the writer a lot more insight into: characters, thoughts, feelings, setting, motivations, backgrounds, etc. and etc.Third Person Point of View (especially omniscient) does not confine the writer to a single character and their experiences, feelings, sights, smells, sounds, thoughts, actions, motivations, etc. and etc.Third person allows the writer to distance themselves from their actual personal experience and the plot of the story, thus acting as a median point between actual experience and narration (think of this as taking a personal feeling or experience and writing it as an extended metaphor poem, rather than a literal poem or narrative).
Points of View-Limited third-person narration usually focuses on the thoughts of a single character in the story. Omniscient third-person narrative, on the other hand, has total access to the thoughts of all characters in the story.
Character/Characterization=There are major characters and minor characters in most literary worksMajor: figure prominently in the story, criticalMinor: not critical to the movement of the plot, not central to the story
Protagonist:A protagonist is considered to be the main character or lead figure in a novel, play, story, or poem. The protagonist may also be referred to as the hero of a work.
Antagonist:Character in a story or poem who deceives, frustrates, or works against the main character, or protagonist in some way. The antagonist doesnt necessarily have to be a person. It could be death, the devil, an illness, or any challenge that prevents the main character from living happily ever after. In fact, the antagonist could be a character of virtue in a literary work where the protagonist represents evil.
Character Types=Round Character: A round character is depicted with such psychological depth and detail that he or she seems like a "real" person. Dynamic Character: If the round character changes or evolves over the course of a narrative or appears to have the capacity for such change, the character is also dynamic. The round character contrasts with the flat character.Flat Character: A character who serves a specific or minor literary function in a text, and who may be a stock character or simplified stereotype. Typically, a short story has one round character and several flat ones. However, in longer novels and plays, there may be many round characters.
Characters-Characters: Literary characters are those creations that permit the writer to populate a fictional universe with people and creatures of his or her own making. The imaginative power of the writer is measured by his or her ability to shape with words an artistic world that the readers will view with credibility.If the world of a story is pure fantasy, the author must describe it so that readers believe imaginatively what they have not seen.Unless characters say something, do something, interact, or have something happen to them, they are no more than mannequins on display.
Characters (Continued)-Literary characters must be considered in their own literary environments, and the reader must consider the nature of the story before he or she dismisses any character as unreal, unbelievable, or unlikely. (In almost any literary work, several characters receive the main focus. Accordingly, they are considered the leading characters or protagonists. But given a protagonist, the conflict of a story may depend upon the existence of an antagonist).
Characters: NarratorA Narrator is a special kind of character because, in fiction, he or she shapes the entire story by his or her point of view.The narrator may play a double role; that is, he or she may actually be a character in a particular set of circumstances, and he or she may also be the one who at some future time chooses to tell the story in which he or she was involved.
Narrator vs. Author The narrator of a work of fiction or the speaker of a poem is a creation of the author, just as the characters in the work are. It is easy to confuse the author and the narrator because, in fact, some narrators do speak in a voice that may closely echo that of the writer. The narrator is a construction---not the same person as the author.
Remember:The author is outside of the work; the narrator is part of it.
To Whom do I Refer?To decide whether you should refer to the author or to the narrator, ask yourself the following question.Are you quoting the words of the narrator (or the speaker, in the case of a poem)? If so, you need to attribute those words, and the feelings or ideas directly expressed in them, to the narrator. If you are discussing the artistic effect achieved b