What is Narrative Writing?

What is narrative writing? The purpose of a narrative writing is to tell a story. Narratives may be written as a story, poem or play and can be either fiction or non-fiction. Narrative stories include an orientation, complication, resolution and ending.

Narrative Writing Graphic Organizers Click Here

A narrative stories are written to entertain and share personal or fictional experiences with the reader. The Narrative Story Mountain shows how a narrative can build up suspense, reach a climax and resolve the problem or complication through a series of events.


Narrative Writing Structure includes:


This section of your narrative story includes a setting, time, main character and can introduce minor characters in your story.

Complication or Series of Events:

The complication is an event or series of events that involve the main character. There are often minor complications or conflicts that are designed to engage and entertain readers.


The resolution is the solution to the complication. It explains how the complication was resolved, who solved it and any details associated with resolving the complication.


The conclusion shows what has changed and what the character has learnt. It often highlights a moral to the story and lessons learnt.

Language Features:

Transitional phrases

Transitional words and phrases help tie together ideas in a narrative story. They help ideas and paragraphs flow. Some example of transitional phrases are:

Beginning – One day; One evening; Initially; A long time ago

Middle – Meanwhile; Next, After That; Unfortunately; Also; Suddenly

End – Also; Eventually; In conclusion; As a Result; Finally

Appropriate paragraphs

Narrative writing has a specific paragraph structure, with a minimum of 3 paragraphs – orientation, complication, resolution.

Descriptive Words

Descriptive words help describe people, places, things and actions. They help entertain readers.

Concrete and Abstract Nouns

Concrete nouns can be detected and felt by our five senses: house, newspaper, dog, bird, coffee, bucket, airplane, glasses, elephant, book

Abstract Nouns are words that name something you cannot see hear, taste, smell or touch: Happiness, hurt, kindness, anxiety, power, relief, wisdom, pride, hurt, anger

Time Sequence Temporal

Beginning – One day; One evening; In the beginning; A long time ago

Middle – Next; Meanwhile; After that; Suddenly

End – Also; Eventually; Moreover; Furthermore; Finally

Literary Devices

  • Metaphor
  • Simile
  • Alliteration
  • Hyperbole
  • Personification

If you are looking for graphic organizers and teacher notes for writing narratives, take a look here.


Narrative Writing Prompts also help students get rolling with their ideas too. Take a look at these narrative writing prompts for a range of grades. Learn more about resources for your grade here.

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