Narrative Text: what is it, structure, elements, types and examples

Narrative text is a type of text that outlines the actions of characters in a certain time and space.

It is usually written in prose and it narrates (tells) some facts and events.

Some examples of narrative texts are: novel, novel, short story, chronicle and fable.

Narrative Structure

  • Presentation: also called introduction, in this initial part the author of the text presents the characters, the place and the time in which the plot will be developed.
  • Development: here a large part of the story is developed with a focus on the characters' actions.
  • Climax: part of the story's development, the climax designates the most emotional moment in the narrative.
  • Outcome: also called conclusion, it is determined by the final part of the narrative, where, from the events, conflicts are developed.

Narrative Elements

  • Storyteller - is the one who tells the story. They are divided into: observer narrator, character narrator and omniscient narrator.
  • Plot - it is about the structure of the narrative, that is, the plot in which the actions unfold. They are classified into: linear plot and non-linear plot.
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  • Characters - are those that make up the narrative and are classified into: main characters (protagonist and antagonist) and secondary characters (adjutant or supporting).
  • Time - is related to the timing within the narrative, for example, a date or a specific moment. Time can be chronological or psychological.
  • Space - place(s) where the narrative develops. They can occur in a physical environment, psychological environment or social environment.

Read more about Narrative Elements.

Storyteller Types

The narrator types, also called narrative focus, represent the "textual voice" of the narration, being classified into:

  • Narrator character - the story is narrated in 1st person where the narrator is a character and participates in the actions.
  • Observer Storyteller - narrated in 3rd person, this type of narrator knows the facts but does not participate in the action.
  • omniscient narrator - this narrator knows all the characters and the plot. In this case, the story is narrated in 3rd person. However, when it presents the characters' stream of thoughts, it is narrated in 1st person.

Types of Narrative Discourse

  • Direct speech - in direct speech, the character speaks.
  • Indirect speech - in indirect speech, the narrator interferes in the character's speech. In other words, it is narrated in 3rd person since the character's speech does not appear.
  • Free Indirect Speech - in free indirect speech there are interventions by the narrator and the characters' speeches. In this case, direct and indirect discourse is merged

To learn more about this topic, read also: Direct Speech, Indirect and Free Indirect Speech

Speech Examples

Direct speech

Narrative text

Indirect speech

Narrative text

Free Indirect Speech

Narrative text

Read too:

  • Types of Texts
  • Textual genres
  • Narration
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