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The word derives from the Latin verb narrare , "to tell", which is derived from the adjective gnarus , "knowing" or "skilled". Narrative can be organized in a number of thematic or formal categories: Narrative is found in all forms of human creativity, art, and entertainment, including speech , literature , theatre , music and song , comics , journalism , film , television and video , video games , radio , gameplay , unstructured recreation , and performance in general, as well as some painting , sculpture , drawing , photography , and other visual arts , as long as a sequence of events is presented.

Several art movements, such as modern art , refuse the narrative in favor of the abstract and conceptual. Oral storytelling is the earliest method for sharing narratives. Narratives may also be nested within other narratives, such as narratives told by an unreliable narrator a character typically found in noir fiction genre.

An important part of narration is the narrative mode , the set of methods used to communicate the narrative through a process narration see also "Narrative Aesthetics" below.

Along with exposition , argumentation , and description , narration, broadly defined, is one of four rhetorical modes of discourse. More narrowly defined, it is the fiction-writing mode in which the narrator communicates directly to the reader. A narrative is a telling of some true or fictitious event or connected sequence of events, recounted by a narrator to a narratee although there may be more than one of each. Narratives are to be distinguished from descriptions of qualities, states, or situations, and also from dramatic enactments of events although a dramatic work may also include narrative speeches.

A narrative consists of a set of events the story recounted in a process of narration or discourse , in which the events are selected and arranged in a particular order the plot. The category of narratives includes both the shortest accounts of events for example, the cat sat on the mat , or a brief news item and the longest historical or biographical works, diaries, travelogues, and so forth, as well as novels, ballads, epics, short stories, and other fictional forms.

In the study of fiction, it is usual to divide novels and shorter stories into first-person narratives and third-person narratives. As an adjective, "narrative" means "characterized by or relating to storytelling": Some theorists of narratology have attempted to isolate the quality or set of properties that distinguishes narrative from non-narrative writings: Owen Flanagan of Duke University, a leading consciousness researcher, writes, "Evidence strongly suggests that humans in all cultures come to cast their own identity in some sort of narrative form.

We are inveterate storytellers. Many works of art and most works of literature tell stories; indeed, most of the humanities involve stories. Stories are also a ubiquitous component of human communication, used as parables and examples to illustrate points. Storytelling was probably one of the earliest forms of entertainment. As noted by Owen Flanagan, narrative may also refer to psychological processes in self-identity, memory and meaning-making.

Semiotics begins with the individual building blocks of meaning called signs ; and semantics , the way in which signs are combined into codes to transmit messages. This is part of a general communication system using both verbal and non-verbal elements, and creating a discourse with different modalities and forms. He and many other semioticians prefer the view that all texts, whether spoken or written, are the same, except that some authors encode their texts with distinctive literary qualities that distinguish them from other forms of discourse.

Nevertheless, there is a clear trend to address literary narrative forms as separable from other forms. This is first seen in Russian Formalism through Victor Shklovsky 's analysis of the relationship between composition and style, and in the work of Vladimir Propp , who analysed the plots used in traditional folk-tales and identified 31 distinct functional components.

It leads to a structural analysis of narrative and an increasingly influential body of modern work that raises important theoretical questions:. In literary theoretic approach, narrative is being narrowly defined as fiction-writing mode in which the narrator is communicating directly to the reader.

Until the late 19th century, literary criticism as an academic exercise dealt solely with poetry including epic poems like the Iliad and Paradise Lost , and poetic drama like Shakespeare. Most poems did not have a narrator distinct from the author. But novels , lending a number of voices to several characters in addition to narrator's, created a possibility of narrator's views differing significantly from the author's views. With the rise of the novel in the 18th century , the concept of the narrator as opposed to "author" made the question of narrator a prominent one for literary theory.

It has been proposed that perspective and interpretive knowledge are the essential characteristics, while focalization and structure are lateral characteristics of the narrator.

A writer's choice in the narrator is crucial for the way a work of fiction is perceived by the reader. Intradiagetic narrators are of two types: Such a narrator cannot know more about other characters than what their actions reveal. A heterodiegetic narrator, in contrast, describes the experiences of the characters that appear in the story in which he or she does not participate. Most narrators present their story from one of the following perspectives called narrative modes: Generally, a first-person narrator brings greater focus on the feelings, opinions, and perceptions of a particular character in a story, and on how the character views the world and the views of other characters.

If the writer's intention is to get inside the world of a character, then it is a good choice, although a third-person limited narrator is an alternative that does not require the writer to reveal all that a first-person character would know. By contrast, a third-person omniscient narrator gives a panoramic view of the world of the story, looking into many characters and into the broader background of a story.

A third-person omniscient narrator can be an animal or an object, or it can be a more abstract instance that does not refer to itself. For stories in which the context and the views of many characters are important, a third-person narrator is a better choice. However, a third-person narrator does not need to be an omnipresent guide, but instead may merely be the protagonist referring to himself in the third person also known as third person limited narrator.

A writer may choose to let several narrators tell the story from different points of view. Then it is up to the reader to decide which narrator seems most reliable for each part of the story. See for instance the works of Louise Erdrich.

Faulkner employs stream of consciousness to narrate the story from various perspectives. In Indigenous American communities, narratives and storytelling are often told by a number of elders in the community.

In this way, the stories are never static because they are shaped by the relationship between narrator and audience. Thus, each individual story may have countless variations. Narrators often incorporate minor changes in the story in order to tailor the story to different audiences. Narrative is a highly aesthetic art.

Thoughtfully composed stories have a number of aesthetic elements. Within philosophy of mind , the social sciences and various clinical fields including medicine, narrative can refer to aspects of human psychology. Illness narratives are a way for a person affected by an illness to make sense of his or her experiences. In the restitution narrative, the person sees the illness as a temporary detour. The primary goal is to return permanently to normal life and normal health.

Some were too shy to grant permission to post them, which makes sense if you think that, in its heyday, WritingFix was receiving over 20, hits a day from teachers across the globe looking for good writing lessons. That kind of traffic can be intimidating. Being Director allowed me to seek out new grant monies, and it was so helpful to already have a tried-and-tested "make and take" model of inservice ready to share with the potential grantors I met with.

Our NNWP was pursuing some pretty innovative ideas for new, research-driven inservice courses back then. With a promise to the grantors that a brand new webpage of teacher-built lessons and resources would be one of the outcomes of the class if they helped us pay for it, we impressed a lot of people, and we did some pretty great stuff with the grants we then earned.

In a very short period of time, we doubled and then tripled the number of lessons and resources posted at WritingFix, and we kept being discovered more and more teacher followers who eventually saw us as one of the best places to go if you wanted an innovative idea for teaching writing.

One of my favorite grants we earned bought all class participants a classroom iPod; in exchange for this small piece of technology, participants simply had to design and implement a writing lesson based on the lyrics of a song. We hired some of our best K NNWP teacher-presenters to write "model lessons" that used songs as their "mentor texts," we paid those presenters stipends to come share their lessons with our classes' participants, we selected the very best lessons written by those same class participants, and--with permission--we posted those lessons alongside our presenters' lessons at our " iPods and Song Lyrics Lesson Page " at WritingFix.

It was a pretty creative way to enhance an already-established website, and our writing project's reputation as a professional development provider soared to new heights both locally and nationally. At the local level, we had never been asked to provide so many courses and workshops as we were during these years; at the national level, we were admired as writing project site that had used the Internet to create a well-respected national presence.

In , the National Writing Project--despite its amazing reputation as an effective provider of professional development that changes teachers' practices--had its budget horribly slashed.

With just barely enough money to keep its basic functions going, our local Northern Nevada Writing Project had to stop providing sponsorship to WritingFix.

It was too bad too. We had some great new directions planned for the website, but there was no money available to implement those plans. With our NNWP's economic "crash," all planned growth for WritingFix went directly to the back-burner, and it has now remained there for so long that I am convinced the WritingFix website is a "completed" project.

WritingFix, however, should NOT go away; Dena and I decided that we would take over paying the bill for all annual fees that keep the website online and free-to-use. The lessons that were created and posted between and were very good and deserve to be housed on the Internet for all teachers to find and use; we know there are brand new teachers out there just discovering WritingFix for the first time, and they deserve to have access to these resources.

Perhaps some day, a grantor will read this page and send Dena and me a sizeable check so that we can organize and give WritingFix another chance at another heyday, but we doubt that will happen. We are ultimately happy with what the website became during the ten years that we had support and funding to keep it alive and strong.

While in its heyday, WritingFix was truly one of the most exciting projects I've ever been involved with. I ultimately watched hundreds and hundreds of our local K teachers collaborate and implement research-based strategies in new lessons we asked them to create in exchange for recertification credit.

Face to face in class, they inspired each other while sharing these lessons, and then the lessons we chose to post at the website went on to be used by tens of thousands of WritingFix's national and international followers. Dena and I are both still creating new lessons and posting them online at our own websites.

You can find our newest, Common Core-friendly resources for writing instruction at Corbett's Always Write website and Dena's Write in the Middle website. Both of us are still WritingFix users. Corbett, who is currently teaching gifted and talented 6thth graders, shares his four favorite WritingFix resources below; Dena, who is a K-8 Writing Specialist, shares her four favorite resources below.

We hope you find time to explore them! Back to the top of page. We happily celebrate our teachers' post-WritingFix work here in this space. The National Writing Project is all about empowering teachers and inspiring them to become teacher leaders and innovators of positive change.

If you are an active Teacher Consultant for the National Writing Project, write me and let me know what website or teaching resources you have created. The odd stolen hour of peace and tranquillity there, rejuvenated me more than I would have thought possible.

Then one night I actually slept there! I told Kevin I had a night shift at the hospital. I felt like a rat for my deception, but once I closed the apartment door behind me it was like being on holiday! I sat out on the balcony sipping the wine, savouring the food and the evening. Wrapping myself in a blanket, I sat there until the sun went down and the street lights went on, watching the river flow and feeling the tensions of the recent past release and flow away into the night.

I fell into bed and slept for ten hours straight. The next morning I felt so guilty that when I got back to the house, I launched into a cooking marathon. For afters I made a boozy Tiramisu, with Irish cream liquor mixed with the espresso and blended into the mascarpone.

Jason, who has the most bazaar taste-buds of anyone I know, would get his favourite, a corned-beef and blackberry jam doorstopper sandwich and a banana milkshake! I decorated the table with colourful napkins made into animal shapes and big bunches of flowers from the garden.

I had some Salsa music playing loudly when they arrived home. The apartment was my sanctuary. I believe Dad bought it sometime in the Noughties as a financial investment, when property prices were relatively low and the banks not trustworthy. Mam needed to have plenty of life around her, so the house was always full of people visiting or staying for dinner whereas Dad loved a quiet space to read and listen to music.

So I think he created a little haven for himself in Wakefield Street. No doubt someday it will all come to light. As Mam said, Dad and I are so alike. My actions echo his … the apple has not fallen far from the tree! There are times when, above the crunch of the pebbles beneath her feet and the crash of waves breaking along the shoreline, she thinks she can hear the roar and thunder of the guns. There are times when the raucous mewing of the gulls turns into a cry for help from a million soldiers trapped in a war of attrition in the trenches of Belgium and Northern France.

There are times when the horrifying noises of war seem to echo off the cliffs lining the beach and reverberate through her head until she wants to scream and scream and scream. She, and the women around her, are not supposed to know about these things; about the pain and suffering of the soldiers in the war, about the slaughter, the terror, the relentless noise.

By common consent the boys hide the horrors when they are home on leave; they joke and laugh and talk of finishing off the Hun in short order. But she has read their letters and learned about their lives. She knows enough to see the numbness behind their smiles.

Like countless other sweethearts, sisters, wives and mothers across the country she plays the game as she is meant to play it. Today, the first day of July , there are no crashing waves and there is no noise; the sea is flat calm and the air still.

It is not often like this and indeed she prefers it when the wind blows fiercely from the west, sending spray spiralling into the moist air. She likes to feel the power of the sea and she likes the way that, on some days, the thrill of battling against the wind and rain as she makes her way along the beach, can drive all other thoughts from her mind. Today there is no chance of such respite. Today the echoes are silent; ever-present but silent. Today, as she sits on the pebbles and stares out at the horizon, her mind is full of Harry and their future together.

And then, because those thoughts make her fearful, she pushes them away and determinedly pulls out instead the memories of how it all began. It began here on this very beach. A fitting place; for the beach has always been her refuge, the place she escapes to when everyday life becomes too dull or too frustrating. The village had done him proud, had turned out in its entirety, but the sadness had been unbearable and she had crept away as soon as she could to seek refuge under the lee of the cliff.

And there she had been struck by an overwhelming desire to play a bigger part in this terrible war, to do something to assuage the suffering of the soldiers, to provide some comfort for those who, like her brothers and childhood friends, had given up the lives they had always known, to face untold horrors on the battlefields of France and Belgium and Mesopotamia. Like so many other women throughout the land, she already knitted socks, rolled bandages, worked hard to grow extra vegetables in her garden.

And she contributed eggs from her hens to the National Egg Collection. She liked to think of her wonderful fresh eggs providing nourishment for wounded soldiers in the hospitals in France. It was a good scheme to be part of.

But what she did was not special enough. She needed to do more. But more than that. I want to be doing something useful, something to help us through this horrible war. Not just staying at home waiting for it to finish. Mother needs me here.

And so does he, now that all three boys have gone to fight. We just need to work it out. Make them a bit special. What do you think? Madge smiled to herself, knowing that she would need to say no more. Chrissie was normally a very positive person, only very rarely resorting to the sort of grumbling she had given way to today.

Once she had decided on something, she would move heaven and earth to make it happen. So the idea took hold and within a week a batch of eggs had been sent off with her name and address on each one. And that was just the beginning.

On some of the eggs, she painted intricate little pictures — flags, sprigs of heather, black cats. Anything she could think of which represented good luck or patriotism. Sometimes she added encouraging messages, sending her best wishes, urging the soldiers to take care, to look after themselves. As she got better at writing clearly and squeezing more words on to the egg shells, she even wrote short poems. Little by little, her life began to have purpose.

She worked hard at the daily chores on the farm and in the house, supported her parents as well as she could, wrote long letters to her three brothers who were all serving overseas, did everything else the villagers asked of her to aid the war effort. But all of it was done with the ultimate aim of finding some time every day to concentrate on the eggs. And find it she did. The first thank you letters from wounded soldiers who had been lucky enough to receive her eggs arrived in the post within a matter of weeks.

And they just kept coming. Some of the sentences stuck in her mind, replaying themselves again and again until she felt she would never forget them as long as she lived. Am doing very well now and they expect to save my leg. I hope they do too. I have seen them come back. Many of the soldiers asked if she would reply to them.

They were lonely, they said, and far from home. Some of them indeed came from Canada or Australia and rarely received letters, or so they told her. Many asked for a photograph. Some hoped for more. She wrote back to him and told him that she was just a year younger. She tried to write back to as many of them as she could and certainly to all those who said they were lonely or who told her that no-one else wrote to them. She kept her letters as cheerful as possible, telling the soldiers about her life in Dorset, her work on the farm, humdrum little details which she hoped would amuse them.

And she tried not to dwell on the hardships they were facing, for surely, she thought to herself, they knew far more about that than she did and she could not presume to understand what they were going through. But she did at last feel she was doing something useful, that bringing comfort to even a few of the wounded men was better than doing nothing at all.

Above all, it made her feel closer to her three brothers. She told herself that perhaps someone was showing them kindness as she was trying to do to others. And it filled her days in a way that working on the farm, or helping her mother, was never able to do. It was fun — though perhaps saying so or even thinking it, was a bit disrespectful to those poor wounded men. But then the day came when it stopped being fun and became a much more serious matter.

That was the day — towards the end of — when she received her first letter from Harry. He had been given one of her eggs, he told her, and he had adored the little painting of a black cat on one side of the egg, the good wishes for a speedy recovery on the other.

He was not seriously wounded, just a bad bout of dysentery and he felt himself to be rather a fraud when there were so many more worthy candidates than him for one of her lovely eggs. But he had been the lucky one and he wanted her to know how much her kindness meant to him. Intrigued, and touched by his words, she wrote back straightaway and then he did too, and before she knew it they were corresponding regularly, exchanging thoughts and worries and longings for the future, and feeling as if they had known each other for ever.

They arranged to meet on his next leave and he planned to make his way down to her Dorset village by the sea, assuring her that he had no family or friends who had a greater claim on him than she did. She persuaded her parents to allow him to stay in their house as a guest and she talked endlessly to a patient Madge about where she was going to take him, what she would say to him.

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