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Generally, when a writer develops a story, he/she follows specific techniques to present interest to the write-up. Narrative conventions are those techniques used to impart sense to a story. Keeping in mind the need for narrative convention and their importance, today in this write-up, we are going to dive deep into the techniques of it.
To answer the fundamental question, “What are narrative conventions?” one can’t expect a straightforward answer. As mentioned earlier, these are techniques used to impart meaning to a story. So, various aspects come under the narrative convention, such as characters, plot development, settings, point of view, plot devices, etc.
If one talks about the list of narrative conventions, then there are two broad categories under which it is divided.
a) Primary narrative conventions: -Primary narrative conventions are those that make a direct impact throughout the literary work.
b) Secondary narrative conventions: -On the contrary, secondary narrative convention techniques do not impact the work directly. They are subtle but are equally important.
For Primary narrative conventions, Setting, Plot Development, Conflict, Themes, Characters, Point of view, Characterisation can be considered as narrative convention examples.
While for secondary narrative conventions, Character Development, Mood, Tone and Voice are considered as examples of narrative conventions.
Narrative techniques and conventions are an essential aspect of all literary and narrative work. In this section, we will discuss and cover all the elements of both primary and secondary narrative conventions.
Under this section of primary narrative convention techniques, we will discuss the various aspects of primary narrative convention and its importance.
The primary technique under the primary convention is setting. The setting is further classified under two groups; Time and place.
Time setting by the name suggests the period in which the story takes place, and place setting is the place where the story has been set. These come under the aspects of a writer’s props as both time and place are essential aspects of story-telling.
Another crucial technique under the primary convention is plot development. It is the backbone of a story. The various stages under plot development include-
Conflict is the struggle or feud between two or more characters in a narrative work. Conflicts are of various types, some of them are;
Point of view is divided into three categories, namely first, second and third-person point of views.
A story has a lot of characters present in it. Some tend to portray good qualities inside them, while others portray some bad ones.
A theme is considered as the main subject on what the whole story revolves around. Symbols are generally used to imply some hidden meanings or subtle character traits indirectly.
The secondary narrative convention techniques include;
The mood or the atmosphere sets the kind of story the writer wants to tell. For example, an adventurous tale will have a bright setting, while a dark one will have a gloomy mood.
The tone represents how the voice is delivered in a story. The tone of the story defines whether the mood is angry or friendly.
Voice of a character represents the perspectives, ideas, positions and views of all individual characters. Understanding the voice of a story helps the reader to understand the mindset of the writer.
Character development is a focal point if a writer wants the reader’s full attention and connectivity with the story.
Character development puts life into the story, and without it, no story is complete. A tale with low character development will never grab the eyeballs of the readers.
As discussed in this blog, narrative convention and techniques play a vital role in shaping a story from scratch. Each aspect of story-telling involves different elements of narrative designs and patterns.
So, for a writer, it is indispensable to take note of all the aspects in detail, and for readers, they must have an idea or a brief overview of all the elements of narrative conventions. It is as essential a secret to do well in the class, along with comprehension tests and exams for the student-writers.
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