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    Simple Way To Learn Narrative Conventions

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      In order to do well in your essays and other comprehensions, you need to incorporate literary conventions in your write-ups. In literature, conventions are the agreed-upon format of writing that defines a genre and differentiates among different genres. 

      One particular type of these conventions that are used in narratives or story writing is narrative convention.  

      So, what are narrative conventions? Let’s discuss!

      What Are Narrative Conventions?

      According to my assignment help experts, Narrative conventions are the techniques or the elements of writing, that writers use to create meaning in a story. A meaningful story has various elements in it that impart sense in the story. Elements like— characters, plot development, settings, point of view, etc. These elements impart a direction to the story. As narrative conventions depend on spoken or written words and representation of people visually, they are extremely important elements in imparting life to your story.


      Narrative conventions have two sides: 

      In order to understand the elements clearly, classify them into two types:

      Primary narrative conventions that make a straight affect on the literary content. 

      Secondary narrative conventions that make an impact but not through texts.

      The various narrative conventions include:


      Setting refers to the time and space where the story is taking place. Settings set establishes the plot and has a strong influence over the entire narrative. It adapts the readers to the world that the writer has created.

      There are two types of settings.

      • Time setting

      Time setting is the time period in which the story takes place. It could be any time of the day, season, or time period in history. For example, stories of— the Victorian era, present time like, 23rd April or during World War II, and so on. 

      • A place setting 

      The location where the story is set is the place setting. While writing a story, the space of the event in action needs to be mentioned for clarity. A place could be anything from a country to the countryside or in outer space or a room in the house, anything. 


      Plot development is basically the structural development of the story. It includes various stages:

      • Exposition or Orientation

      The first and introductory stage in the narrative. Here, the reader is introduced to various characters, is made familiar with the settings, understands the main aim of the narrative, and is hinted towards the upcoming events. 

      • Complication ( Rising tension) 

      In this second stage, the peaceful ambiance of the narrative gets disturbed by the occurrence of a conflict or a complication.

      • Climax

      The climax is the turning point in the story. The pinnacle of the conflict brings forth a change or a new element in the story. The climax can be in the favour of or against the favor of the protagonist. 

      • Falling tension

      After the climax comes falling tension when the conflict loses up. Here, the issues between the protagonist and the antagonist unravel and lead Karra towards narration. 

      • Denouement

      This is the last stage also known as the concluding part of the narrative, where the ends meet. In this last part of the story, everything gets solved and directs the reader to a satisfactory ending. Sometimes even after completing the ending stage and narrative, the writer doesn’t give a clear conclusion, rather leaves the reader to ponder on. 


      The internal or external struggle between the characters in conflict. 

      • Man against man conflict

      This is an external conflict where the characters are against each other. Such conflicts include direct opposition or fights or conflict between the intentions and desires of two or more characters. 

      • Man against society

      Such a conflict is against a man-made institution, which results in a revolution. In such conflicts the protagonist is usually frustrated and annoyed by the way the society works, thus decides to against the majority to bring forth a change. 

      • Man against nature

      When man struggles against the environment and has to face the brute force of nature in order to survive, it is the conflict against nature. 

      • Man against himself

      This is an internal conflict, where the protagonist has to fight himself in order to overcome his nature make tough decisions. 


      Point of view basically shows the viewpoint of a certain scenario from someone else’s eyes. Writers use a different form of narration to establish a point of view. These include:

      • First Person

      This narrative has the viewpoint of a character in the narrative. This is a highly biased point of view. Here writers usually use ‘I’ or ‘me’ and ‘we’ or ‘us.’

      • Second Person

      This narration has the point of view of the narrator. The main pronoun in use is ‘you’.

      • Third-person

      Here the narrator is omnipresent, he’s everywhere and knows everything. Despite knowing everything, the point of view of the narrator is neutral. The pronouns used are ‘they,’ ‘he,’ ‘she,’ and ‘them’.


      Characters are the people in the story who move the plot and can be described in a couple of ways. The most common being:

       The protagonist the main or central character of the story. 

      The antagonist the villain character who tends to oppose the protagonist or the main character. 


      The language of descriptions shapes the reader’s perception and provokes emotions. 

      • Imagery

      Such a vivid metaphorical language causes the reader to visualize the text. The detailed description of the surroundings, person or action, creates a picture in the mind of the reader. 

      • Sensory Imagery

      Sensory imagery is the one that provokes the five senses of a reader: Sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch.

      • Figurative language

      Figurative language refers to such phrases whose meaning differs from the literary meaning. These are often used to compare or to emphasize something. The literary devices in use are— simile, metaphors, personification, and hyperbola. 


      • Theme and message

      A theme is the main or the central subject of the narrative. These include fantasy, relationships, dark fantasy, nihilism, etc. 

      A message is an information that a particular sentence is imparting on the subject. Like: when a man becomes a criminal, he stops being a human. 

      • Symbols & motifs

      The symbol is a representation of a place, person, or object who has its own meaning and importance but represents other meanings as well which relates to the theme of the plot. 

      Motif:  A motif is a recurring element in the story that has symbolic significance. 


      The bonds between the reader and the character need to be created in order to make sure of the reader’s involvement in the narrative, and this is known as characterization. It has two types —

      1. Direct Characterization: Here the writer clearly states the characteristics of the characters. For example— Mary is an introvert and hence finds herself uncomfortable around the crowds. 
      2. Indirect characterization: Here, the writer indirectly defines the characteristics of the character and allows the reader to interpret them. For example— At the party, Mary was found sitting at the corner with her heads down, and not interacting with anyone. 


      The mood is the ambiance of the story that is well expressed by the texts. It is the job of the writer to accurately convey what kind of feeling the story is giving off. The use of descriptive language and imagery helps the writer to set the mood. For example, a story might create a spooky, serious, light, exhaling, or menacing mood. 


      The manner in which voice is delivered in a story is represented by tone. The tone in the voice of the character defines the mood. It can be angry, friendly, rebellious, or so on. The point of view has a lot to do with the tone.


      A literary text contains various voices which help the reader to understand the mindset of the reader. These voices are perspectives, views, ideas, positions of the individual character that promotes attributes and characteristics of that character. In this way, the reader understands the mindset of the writer and responds accordingly. 


      Character development is essential of the story that has a flow in it. It involves the reader’s connectivity. It is true for humans that as they grow, or as time goes on, with the succeeding events in life, he/she tends to grow/change emotionally.

      Key Notes
      Brief notes that’ll assist in the completion of your assignment: 

      • Narrative conventions are the elements of narrative writing that shape a composition
      • Classifying narrative conventions:
      Primary narrative conventions Secondary narrative conventions


      Plot development


      Themes & message and symbols & motifs


      Point of view


      Descriptive language

      Character development




      Its purpose is to narrate the story to an audience.


      FAQ Related to Narrative Conventions

      What are narrative conventions?

      Narrative conventions are the elements of narrative writing that shape a composition. Its main purpose is to narrate the story to an audience. In order to understand the elements clearly, classify them into two types

      • Primary narrative conventions that make a straight affect on the literary content. 
      • Secondary narrative conventions that make an impact but not through texts. 

      The elements include settings, plot development, conflict, themes & message and symbols & motifs, characters, point of view, characterization, descriptive language, character development, mood, tone and voice.