Narrative conventions and techniques

Posted by Studentbox user
on 08/11/2018 at in  English


Narrative conventions and techniques help the author to tell the story effectively.

These conventions give meaning to the narrative and help us to understand what is happening in the story on a deeper level and in a way that is interesting to read.


Narrative Convention


Plot and Narrative Structure


Plot: Exposition (Introduction), Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Resolution

Structure: the order that events are revealed. Structure can be circular, chronological, flashback, flash-forward, foreshadowing, a final twist.



Types of Character: Identify the protagonist, antagonist, central character(s), minor characters, two-dimensional and three-dimensional characters.


Construction of character through direct or indirect:

B – Behaviour

A – Appearance

D – Dialogue

O – Others (What others say/think about this character)

T – Thoughts and Feelings


Symbolism: settings can often be symbolic of bigger ideas/concepts in the narrative.

Examine how: Time, place, atmosphere, the mood is created through the language used to describe the setting.

Narrative Point of View


First Person: “I”, “we”


Second Person: “you”, “your”, “yours”


Third Person: “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” “them”


Consider the effect: of the point of view chosen by the writer in how the reader receives the story.

Language (Style and Tone)


Style: The way something is said (formal, informal, slang, conversational, natural)

Language: Descriptive, Figurative, Emotive.

Imagery: Visual pictures created by the type of language used.

Tone: Refers to the mood, attitude and feeling (sarcastic, humorous, serious, questioning, angry, persuasive, informative) of the author towards the subject/situation.


Central ideas/issues explored in the text.


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