What are narrative techniques?

Narrative techniques or literary devices are the devices writers use in order to write a good story. You may find yourself asking the question what are narrative techniques? In this blog, we aim to answer just that.

Narrative techniques or literary devices are the devices writers use in order to write a good story. You may find yourself asking the question what are narrative techniques? In this blog, we aim to answer just that.

Individual Elements

The individual elements of different narrative techniques can be broken down into six distinct categories:

  • Character
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Perspective
  • Setting
  • Style
  • Narrative technique / structure

Each of these devices plays a significant role in how a story is told and received by readers.

Examples

First-person narration: When using this narrative perspective, a writer tells the story from the point of view of one character. In most cases this is the protagonist, but not always. This is often used in YA fiction. Using first-person often helps the reader to feel much closer to the protagonist.

Sensory details: These details are descriptions using the five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound. Writers describe with sensory details in order to paint a picture in the reader’s mind about particular characters or parts of the story.

Anthropomorphism or Personification: Personification is commonly used to give human-like characteristics and traits to non-human elements. Anthropomorphism is a form of this, specifically referring to animals. Thinking Animal Farm.

Pathetic Fallacy: This is where the mood of a character is mirrored in non-human objects surrounding them for example, the weather is typically used in fiction to suggest a character’s frame of mind in a given moment of the story such as the black sky indicates the character is depressed or a rocky sea signifies turmoil.

Metaphor: Writers will use metaphors to describe a scene or character, rather than being completely literal in their description. Such as “He was blue” rather than “He was sad.”

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