How does narrative writing
affect your story?

Narrative writing is telling a story. So whether you know it or not, when you're writing a story to relieve your stress, you are most likely writing a narrative.

This type of writing is a story that is told from someone's point of view... most likely the author's. An easy way to think of it is in terms of a movie where there is a narrator speaking over parts of the movie to help tell the story. In this case, you are the narrator.

You will use your words to walk others through your experience step-by-step and help them understand your point of view.

But here's the trick... what makes narrative writing more than just something you wrote is its structure. These types of stories are always structured in generally the same way, which can be very helpful for those of us who tend to ramble or get off track.

Therefore, learning the process to this type of writing can be very helpful in making sure your story is easy to follow and that it gets your point across. And if you are writing a true narrative, you must have a point.

narrative writing

What elements must a true narrative story have?

  • Point of view. With narrative writing you'll want to start by knowing what you're trying to say through your story. An example would be:

    Even though my family has a very stressful schedule, I try my best to make things run smoothly.

  • Plot. Your story will need a story line. You'll need to make sure there is enough beef or substance to support your point of view.

  • Characters. Most likely, your story will involve yourself and a few other people. These will be your characters. In my example, the characters would be myself, my husband, and my children... maybe even my cat.

  • Setting (Place). My place, for example, would be the hometown that my family lives in. However, most of the story line will take place either in my home or in my car while I'm running everyone around town.

  • Setting (Time). The time, for this purpose, will be current day. When writing about our stressful lives and circumstances, most of our stories will either run currently with our lives (in the present time) or be written in the past... it would be unlikely that we would write about future stress, however, that doesn't mean it's not allowed or it won't happen.

  • Conflict. Your conflict will essentially be a part of your plot, however, in true narrative writing, it is so essential that it deserves its own distinction. In my example, the conflict of my plot is the struggle to keep up with my family's schedule and still maintain my sanity.

  • Climax and Ending. For your story to be exciting, you will want to have a climax... or a boiling point, if you will. This can occur at any point in your story where it makes sense, however, it is usually timed somewhere in the middle. Then, you will want to end your story with a conclusion. An open ended story will usually disappoint your readers and leave them feeling confused. Even if you don't yet know how your story will end, finish it with your final observation or thoughts. Your thoughts might even include your hopes for the future or your anticipation of how the story will end.

That's pretty much all there is to it. Those are the basic elements to narrative writing. The cool thing is that making sure these things are in your story won't be difficult... most likely they're already there. However, by planning your story using these requirements, you will find the end result much easier to follow.

To make your story interesting to your readers, you may also want to be sure to learn the technique of descriptive writing. Most people would agree that this is also a large part of narrative writing and essential for a great story.

narrative writing

However, learn one technique at a time. Don't over-stress yourself with details that cloud the reason you're writing in the first place. Writing to relieve stress can be comforting and produce a great story if you focus on doing only what you are comfortable with and taking your time learning and practicing new techniques.

Life in itself is a work in progress. There is absolutely no reason in the world to expect yourself to pick up new things without time and practice. Be sure to cut yourself some slack... because most likely, you deserve it. And remember, none of these elements are necessary to write for relief.

Learn more on How to Write a Story

Leave Narrative Writing and explore other great articles and tips on stress. Begin at my Home page.

Other Pages You'll Love:

True Personal Stories: Visitors' Submissions

Dealing with Stress Through Writing

Stress Management Journal

Paragraph Writing

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The information presented on this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Always seek the advice of your individual Health Care Professional.