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Teacher Tips and Answers

Writing a Narrative

After identifying your focus and gathering details about it, you are ready to write your narrative. Remember that a narrative is more than a chronological list of events. It is a true-life story with characters and conflict, so you need to build it like a story. The activities on this page will help.

Writing the Narrative Beginning

The beginning of your narrative has a number of jobs:

  • Catch the reader's attention.
  • Introduce the main character (person of focus).
  • Describe the setting (time and place).
  • Create conflict.

Write the beginning.

Experiment with strategies for capturing the reader's interest. Use the examples below for inspiration. Then develop a beginning that introduces the main character, describes the setting, and sets up the conflict. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Start in the middle of the action.

    Flush with determination, I stepped up to the podium. I had a strong speech. I had a strong message. I was ready to fight for equal rights. So how did I know it was all doomed?

     

  2. Use interesting dialogue.

    "There goes Drama Jess again. Making something out of nothing." Girls with an opinion get that a lot in high school.

     

  3. Pose a fascinating question.

    What does justice mean to you?

     

  4. Set up the conflict.

    I’m a sports fanatic. I’m also a girl. I thought by now my gender wouldn't be an issue, but last school year showed it still is.

     

This lesson is a part of the Writing Narrative Arguments unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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