What is a  narrative?

Narrative galley.indd

A narrative is some kind of retelling, often in words (though it is possible to mime a story), of something that happened (a story). The narrative is not the story itself but rather the telling of the story — which is why it is so often used in phrases such as “written narrative,” “oral narrative,” etc. While a story just is a sequence of events, a narrative recounts those events, perhaps leaving some occurrences out because they are from some perspective insignificant, and perhaps emphasizing others. In a series of events, a car crash takes a split second. A narrative account, however, might be almost entirely about the crash itself and the few seconds leading up to it. Narratives thus shape history (the series of events, the story of what happened).

In the image below you can see the basic elements of a story:

The following presentation will help you learn more about how to organize a narrative – though you must bear in mind that it is about films!!!!:

Look at the presentation to learn about the most frequently used verb tenses in narratives:

You can also read the following explanation:

The Narrative Tenses


Past simple or Past continuous

Simple past or past progressive

Past perfect

Simple past or Past perfect

Past perfect or Simple past

Extra activities

And put your knowledge into practice:
A short explanation of the use of Past Perfect and two practice parts about it.
A short explanation and 10 sentences with time expressions in which past perfect is used.
A 10-questions quiz: Simple Past or Past Perfect.
another one.
A collection of exercises on past perfect, smple past and past perfect continuous
At the end of the page, there are exercises that you might like.
some fill-in-the blanks activities
52 questions to do. Past simple versus Present Perfect.

a 15-question exercise

Writing a Story

In this excellent site Learning American English on line you can find a section devoted to writing that guides you from paragraph level to writing narrativesCaptura de pantalla 2014-10-05 a la(s) 1.07.32 PM

Now, think about a stoy you would like to tell. To help you plan how you can do it, click on the image below.


Another interesting tool is the Periodic Table of Storytelling:

Periodic Table of Storytelling

If you’re seriously consider becoming an author, then the following website will prove very useful: