Junior Composition and Conversation
Narration: From Free-Writing to Revision
We like to tell stories to ourselves to make sense of our life.
Don't we do that every night when we dream?
Focused Free-Writing
Main Idea and 
Different Perspectives
Making your Story Concrete
Elements of Narration
A. Focused Free-Writing B. Your Main Idea Seen from Different Perspectives C. Making your Story Concrete: Effective Presentation
After you are done with the second draft and have a clear sense of your main idea, you can then consider the effectiveness of your presentation.
Elements of Narration
In order for a narration to be interesting and meaningful, it must have the following elements:
1. Emotion.  Writing is really such hard work that people ought not to bother writing something with which they are not emotionally involved.  What emotions are apparent in each selection?  How strongly is the narrator involved?  What indications are there in the models of strong emotional involvement?
2. Action.  Something happens; that is tension increases and conflict intensifies as various events occur.  In simple stories, the action is very often physical--fights, calamities, contests--but in more subtle stories the action may be emotional or intellectual.  The action, however, whether it is exterior and visible or interior and invisible, causes the situation to change so that conditions are different at the end of the story from the way they were at the beginning.  This movement, or development, is important.
3. Suspense. Each passage suggests that something is going to happen  so that the reader eagerly anticipates the outcome of these events.  to build suspense, you plant seeds that hint at conflicts, problems, mysteries.  You promise the reader that you will show the plants in bloom and all conflicts, problems, and mysteries solved at the end of the story.  suspense is a vital factor in building and retaining the interest of the reader.
4. Structure, or order.  Events in real life happen in a definite order--the order of time.  But in discovering meaning in the events or in imposing a meaning on them, the writer may need to arrange then differently from the order in which they originally occurred.  Whether writers use straight chronological order or determine a new order, they are going structure to their narrative in order to heighten suspense and make incidents and events more meaningful.
5. Point or purpose.   Although everyone loves a story and thousands of narratives are written and read only for entertainment, the best stories have a purpose or meaning of some kind.  Indeed, even those written and told for their own sakes, often make some kind of statement o human beings, human values, or some aspect of life.  To get the most satisfaction from the effort that goes in to writing a narrative, select an incident in which you can discover a meaning or an event on which you can impose meaning.  Sometimes the meaning is an overall impression or attitude.  At other times it is an idea that can be expressed in a single sentence.  What are the meanings of the models?
6. Point of view.  In every narrative, someone (or something) tells the story, and this person ot animal or thing marks the story with his or her personal imprint.  Imagine how much different the story of the " Three Little Pigs" or of " Little Red Riding Hood" would be if, in each case, the wolf told the story!  If you will probably use " I" o "we", which is called first-person narrator.  Occasionally, you may write a first-person narrative when you are relating events in the life of a fictional character, rather than yourself.  In those cases, you have "assumed a persona," or taken on the role of another person, much as an actor does.  You then speak consistently from that person's point of view--seeing things as he or she sees them, reacting as that person would, and even using the language appropriate for the character.  Sometimes, when you are reading narratives, it is difficult to separate the author from the persona he or she is "speaking through."  For example. Ernest Hemingway really did participate in the Spanish Civil War and go on safaris in Africa.  Yet sometimes when one of his characters tells about those experiences, ut us a persona, or imagined character, rather than Hemingway who is speaking is sometimes important in getting the meaning of a narrative.  Another point of view often used in narration is third-person narrator.   When telling a story from that point of view, you relate events as though you were an onlooker, and you use the pronouns "he," "she," "it," or "they."  Of course, you already know that when you are telling a story that making up a story, then you are presenting fiction.
&. Effective description.  Concrete details create images, or pictures, in the readers' minds and make the events in the narrative come alive.  (West 271-73)


West. William W.  Developing Writing Skills.  New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1996.