Narrative writing is not just a writing style. As much as narrative demands creativity, it also demands discipline. Much of that discipline falls into thethree categories examined here:
Development of the elements or ingredients of a story.
Development of the narrative structure
Knowing what not to use in the story itself and how to use supplementary“layers” to enhance the story presentation and to tell the story using multi-media.
The elements of narrative
Journailsts tend to think in terms of the basics of journalism: Who, what, when, where, why, how.Narrative journalists must think in terms of story elements: setting, carácter, plot, conflict, climax, resolution, dialogue, theme, action, scenes.
Elements shape reporting.
The story elements shapenot only your writing but your reporting. For instance, you can answer “who” with a name and some basic details, perhaps age, hometown, occupation: Steve buttry, 51, a writting coach. However, ifyou`re developing a carácter, you seek and find considerably more: Air forcé brat, preacher`s kid, yankee fan, cáncer survivor, novelist wannabe, father, husband, former editor, lousy athlete, EagleScout, writing coach, itinerant journalist, game creator, wise guy. “when” may be a place on the map, “Where” a point on the calendar or clock. Setting demands description. It demands relationship in timeand place to other events and places. Setting is a time and place where you transport the reader to watch the action unfold. Plot is not a set of events, but a series of events, each flowing from theone before and leading to the next. Conflicto demands resolution, or explanation of the inability to resolve. Think of these elements as you report, so you have the material you need when you write.Elements shape lead.
Story elements may help you write your lead. Which is the most important element for this story? Perhaps that should be the focus of your lead. What is the climax? Perhaps...