Narrative structure is the way a story is organised and demonstrated to the readers. When you experiment with narrative structures, you can create layers of depth and complexity and add different styles of writing to your career. Here are six different narrative styles you should try out to improve your writing skills:
In a linear narrative, the story takes place in a chronological and straightforward manner where the reader knows what is happening according to the time period. This is the most traditional and well-known form of writing where readers can logically and sequentially understand the story from beginning to end. You can add depth to a linear narrative by incorporating some structural elements in the story.
In a non-linear narrative, events are placed in a non-linear order and there is no straight chronology of events. You can engage the readers with flashbacks and flashforwards and keep them guessing what took place and when. This will create a sense of mystery and intrigue and keep readers hooked to your book till the last page.
In a multiple perspective narrative, you can showcase different ways of looking at things in the story and different perceptions about events that will help readers understand the story and its characters better. You can even flesh out different chapters for each character with their distinct view of the story so that readers can gain insights into their thought processes.
You can also use an Epistolary structure where you give the readers clues about the story through written documents, letters, emails and more. This will also give readers a glimpse into characters and their viewpoints throughout the story. Learn how to incorporate these key documents at different points in the story to reveal crucial details about characters and the main plot line.
In a framed narrative, you can introduce a story within your main story. Start by outlining the outer story and then give details about the inner story which will become the main plotline. This will add layers and intrigue to the narrative and keep the readers hooked till the end of the book. You can also frame the outer book to reflect on the inner story and create a unique plotline for your written work.
An unreliable narrator is one who doesn’t have a clear cut view of the story or has a distorted memory. Telling a story from this viewpoint will create doubts and intrigue in the readers and keep them guessing about the real outline and storyline of this written word.
With these narrative structures in mind, you can select one that is in line with your story and enhances its themes and plotline. You must consider the genre, tone, and themes of your writing when choosing a narrative structure, as each of these structures may suit different storytelling goals. You must also remember to experiment, take risks, and be open to unexpected narratives as you explore the vast landscape of narrative structures.
As you dive into exploring different narrative structures, pay attention to how each of these structures affects the drama, tension, and emotional security of your story. Reflect on how it influences the development of your characters, the themes, and the overall experience as a reader. By pushing the boundaries of traditional narrative structures, you can create unique and unforgettable stories that captivate and resonate with your readers and keep them hooked.