Planning and writing a narrative: Part 2. Language elements. In this article, we are going to learn what language elements authors use to write narratives. Before we start, let’s revisit the purpose of a narrative. The purpose of a narrative is to entertain the reader, so as the writer, we always need to be thinking to ourselves how can I make my writing entertaining. One way that a writer can do this is by using a combination of adjectives and nouns to form noun groups.
For example, ‘the scared people’, ‘a towering skyscraper’, ‘the colorful fish’, ‘sharp coral’. Noun groups allow the writer to be more descriptive and they help the story come to life in the reader’s mind. Two more language elements that good writers use are interesting verbs and adverbs. Take for example the sentence: ‘The scared children went through the door.’ The verb ‘went’ isn’t very descriptive. Instead how about ‘ran’, ‘hurried’ or ‘tiptoed’? These verbs give the reader more information and they entertain. Here’s another example: ‘ "read out," Evie said.’ What do you notice about the verb ‘said’?
It doesn’t give much detail, does it? What are some more descriptive verbs that could have been used? ‘Shouted’, ‘whispered’, ‘laughed’. Each of these adds a lot more detail to the sentence. We can also consider modifying the meaning of verbs by adding an adverb. How did she laugh?
Playfully? Cheekily? Quietly? Rudely? Using descriptive verbs and adverbs is important because they allow the writer to tell a better, more entertaining story.
Writers can also use direct speech, which is when characters talk to one another. Direct speech can be used to show the personality of our characters, as well as give clues as to how they’re feeling. Good writers also use text connectives to make their writing flow. One type of text connectives are pronouns. Here’s an example of writing without pronouns, read it to yourself.
What do you notice? Did you notice that it’s very repetitive and that it doesn’t flow very well? By using pronouns we can make this passage of writing flow better. Try reading it again, now that pronouns have been added. Another device writers used to make their writing more connected is time connectives. Time connectives signal to the reader when an event took place.
Take this passage of text as an example: ‘Huddled together under a tiny blanket, the children fell asleep. They woke up to the deafening sound of a car horn.’ It sounds a little disjointed and is hard to follow. When did they wake up? It sounds like some time probably passed, so we can use a time connective to clarify how much time passed. Did they wake up soon after? Or the next morning? Or hours later?
Time connectives help to orient the reader and pass time in our writing. Time connectives can make days, weeks, even years go by with the stroke of a pen. Good writers use noun groups, descriptive verbs and adverbs and direct speech to make their writing descriptive and to entertain. They use pronouns and time connectives to make their writing cohesive and flow. In the next article we will be looking at how to plan and write the orientation of a narrative. EasyTeaching.net