Narrative Conventions Essay

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Conventions are a set of widely accepted techniques and devices that audiences may expect to find in a novel, short story or other narrative.   Conventions give the author and the reader an agreed structure within which they can both work.

    ❖ SETTING
      Setting refers to where and when a story takes place.   Description of the setting is often utilised to create mood and atmosphere.   Setting can play a significant role in contributing to the meaning of the story.
    ❖ CHARACTERS
      The people in the story.   There are main and minor characters, flat and round characters.   Characters are constructions and perform a function in the narrative.   They can be representations.   They can convey beliefs, values and attitudes.   Characterisation refers to the methods used to create characters – by direct description, by their actions and speech, through their thoughts or feelings, by what other characters say about them, by symbolic association with particular objects or ideas.
    ❖ PLOT
      Plot is the design or structure of events in a story to produce curiosity and suspense in readers.   As a reader you ask three questions – Why did that happen? Why is this happening? What will happen next and why?
    ❖ NARRATIVE STRUCTURE
      Narratives are usually organised into an exposition, complications and/or conflict, a climax and a resolution.
    ❖ NARRATIVE POINT OF VIEW
      Point of view is the perspective from which a narrator presents a narrative.
      First person narrative – the narrator is a character in the story and refers to himself/herself as ‘I’ and the other characters as ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’.
      Second person – (this point of view is very rarely used) the narrator directly addresses the reading audience and refers to them as ‘you’ and includes them as a character in the story.
      Third person limited – confines the narrator to the experiences of one of the characters in the story. That character is referred to as ‘he’ or...

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