One of the reasons for writing is to relate an experience or a story. This type of writing is what we call narrative writing. For school tests and examinations, the primary goal of this type of writing is to entertain.
Writing narrative composition should be enjoyable. It is a form mental of exercise for the writer to let loose all the thoughts that can’t be expressed in the real world.
By introducing these fundamental ideas to your child, he or she can enhance their writing substantially.
1. DEVELOP THE STORY IN A CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
Narrative compositions tell a story. A story has a series of events and as you write your composition, you must tell the story as it happened. This is why your narrative composition needs to be in chronological order. You have to narrate the story from beginning to end. Keep asking yourself “What happens next?” as you write. Always keep in mind to follow a logical order of ideas and details in your writing.
2. CAPTURE YOUR READER’S ATTENTION WITH A QUESTION
An effective introduction should always capture your reader’s attention. A simple way is to begin with a question (flashbacks are soooo 2005…).
For instance, if you are writing a narrative composition about your first day of school, you could perhaps start with a question such as ‘Do you still think about your first day of school?’
What effect do you think a question like this will have on the reader?
3. USE SENSORY DETAILS AND VIVID WORDS
In writing narratives, it is important to remember that your readers have not yet experienced what you are going to write about. As you write your narrative composition, you must think about the information that your reader is receiving. Try to remember that the information that you will present is the only information that your readers will have about the experience you are about to share. Furthermore, you have to keep in mind that all the small and seemingly unimportant details known to you are not necessarily known to your readers.
Your ultimate goal is to deeply involve your readers and in a way, make them experience your story. A way to do this is to make detailed and vivid descriptions of the events, people, and places in your narrative. Use words that appeal to the senses. Use words that vividly and vibrantly describe your story.
For example, consider the two sentences below:
Sentence 1: Keith worked all day.
Sentence 2: Keith meticulously extracted venom from snakes all day.
Which sentence is clearer to the reader? And why would you think so?
4. AVOID EMPTY WORDS AND SENTENCES
One mistake many students make when writing is that they try to lengthen their sentences *Tsk Tsk*. A mark of a good composition is one that is written concisely. There is no need to draw out or extend sentences. Use only the words that you need to communicate your idea. Using unnecessary or empty words will only make your writing difficult to understand.
Below is a list of empty words and phrases that you should avoid.
as I said before
needless to say
it is a fact that
in my opinion
it is also true that
what I mean is
by way of
5. ADD A NEW INSIGHT
Your narrative should always have relevance to your readers. Conclude your narrative by showing your readers the significance of your story. Writing an insight that can be gleaned or taken from the story is an effective way of ending your narrative composition.
For example, if you are writing about starting a new life overs, perhaps your conclusion could be something like this:
Once I adjusted to my new life, I was able to embrace what Spain had to offer. I began to appreciate its culture. There were many places to go to, the people were very friendly, and there was much art and cukture. Looking back, moving to Spain was one of the defining moments of my life. It was there that I learnt how to make friends, accept other cultures, and most of all, accept change. Change is an inevitable part of life and we all must embrace it. It could be very painful or frightening at first, but in the end, something good always comes out of it. It makes us a stronger and better person.
To sum it up, writing a good narrative composition is a form of art. Your child needs to have patience and practice writing whenever he or she has the time with the 5 guidelines mentioned above. And before you know it, your child will have his or her writing featured in the school articles!
For over 15 years, Augustine’s English Classes has helped hundreds of students fall in love with the subject and excelling in school exams. If you are interested to know how our classes work, or what our secret winning formula is, do feel free to drop us a message or give us a call.