What is a narrative text?
A narrative text is that text that tells a story that takes place in a certain period of time and place. The narration refers to the way of telling the story, in the form of a sequence or as a series of actions carried out by the characters, and that allows the reader to imagine the situation.
Stories, characters, and places can be real, imaginary, or fact-based. The narrator of the story may or may not be the author himself and is the one who tells the story to the reader using any of the three grammatical persons (the first person, the second or the third).
Narration is used both in everyday communication to convey information , and in literature for the creation of fictional stories. Each author has their own style to narrate, in addition to maintaining a general structure that identifies narrative texts with an introduction, a development and an outcome.
Characteristics of the narrative text
A narrative text is intended to tell a story, inform or entertain the reader . It is characterized by the figure of a narrator who can appear through a character within the story and will be in the first or second person, or in case of being an omnipresent narrator, the story will be in the third person.
The author is the one who gives a style to the narrative text , which can be direct (when it reproduces literally and in quotation marks, what each character says), indirect (when the narrator presents or describes what the characters say) or free ( when direct and indirect styles merge).
A narrative text is characterized by having various elements, such as:
- The narrator: He is the one who tells the story and can be present as one of the characters, be omniscient (who knows everything and recounts the sequences) or be a witness (he does not know the whole story, but narrates what he observes).
- Characters: They are the ones who act in the events that are happening in the story. They can be main characters (the protagonists on which the story is based), or secondary (who intervene in specific events in the story).
- Space: It is one or more specific places where the story takes place. The reader manages to imagine each space and feel particular emotions through the description that the author details.
- Time: It is the moment or epoch in which the events occur and can be linear (chronological) or with twists and turns (playing with the events of the past, present and future throughout the story).
- The action: It is the argument of the story that can be explicit from the beginning or that is deduced as the story progresses.
Structure of the narrative text
The structure of a narrative text is composed of three parts:
- The introduction: It is the presentation of the story that allows the reader to be placed in a specific context (in time and place), and in which the protagonists of the story are introduced.
- The development or knot: It is the most extensive part of the story where the details of the story, the characters and the events that connect them are known.
- The outcome: It is the closing of the story in which the questions that arose during the development of the story are revealed. It can be a tragic ending, happy or open to doubt with the possibility of continuing the story in later works.
Examples of narrative texts
Narrative texts are very diverse and each one has particular characteristics, but they are identified as narrative text because they have the structure of the narrative in common.
Some examples are:
- The myth
- The fable
- The joke
- The epic poem
- The biography
- The memory
- The chronicle
- The novel
- The anecdote
- The cartoon
- The newspaper article
- The tale
- The report
- “Narrator and narrative style” in Study.com.
- “Literary texts: comprehension and memory” on International Encyclopedia of the social and behavioral.