Elements of Narrative: see what types, what to use and the characteristics of each one

When writing a narrative text one should not simply give wings to the imagination. The structure of narrative text follows rules of writing according to the type of narrative. Storytelling also needs rules and care when writing according to the rules of literature.

When thinking about the elements of the narrative, we must first understand the structure of the narrative text, since a narration consists of creating a story with a sequence of facts, a story in which the characters go through situations in a certain physical space and time.

Structure of narrative text

The narrative text is always based on an action that involves certain characters, these located in a time, in a physical space and united by a conflict in common. Thus, a narrative text to be logical and understandable to the reader, should present the following structure.

Regardless of the type of narrative, a narrative text has three distinct parts:

Introduction / Presentation: In the initial part the author presents the characters of the narrative, outlining their characteristics and personalities, as well as locating them in the time and space of history

Development / Complication: Through the actions of each character involved in the narrative, the plot of the story is constructed, with elements of terror, romance and suspense according to the central idea of ​​the author

Conclusion / Conclusion: It is the climax of the narration, the outcome of the story created.

Types of narratives

Besides having a structure of its own, as mentioned above, the narrative text must also follow a pattern according to the type of narrative it proposes. The types of narrative are subdivided into:

  • Romance
  • Soap opera
  • Tale
  • Chronic
  • Fable

We will briefly explain each one of them before we get to the point: what are the elements of the narrative?


It is a narrative about a certain fictional event where the focus is to present aspects of the social, personal, family or love life of the characters. The plot hangs over several conflicts, one being the main one and the other the secondary conflicts.

Soap opera

The novel narrative, as well as the novel, also covers a wide range of characters, but with the development of the plot taking place in a well-defined time sequence. In general, it portrays aspects of people’s daily lives.


It is a kind of shorter narrative, presents few characters, where the conflict is unique and generally of dense character, with reduced narrative space and time.


This type of narrative is a more informal text that presents stories of everyday life, usually permeated by a denunciation against social problems. The chronicler and the chronicler use a lot of subtlety to deal with these more “delicate” subjects, since the chronicle can also have a more humorous language.


The fable is a narrative of pedagogizing, doctrinal character, bringing lessons of morals and / or ethics. Invariably presents animals with human characteristics (talk, wear clothes, act like people). It can also present objects that in real life would be inanimate, but in fable they have life and personality, in this case, it is called apologetic, but the textual intention is the same of the fable: to indoctrinate, to teach.

Knowing the elements of the narrative and its functions in the text

The elements of the narrative are absolutely essential elements in a narration that is a text that proposes to realize the storytelling.

In order for a narrative to arouse the attention and curiosity of the reader, it must be guided by these elements, regardless of the type of narrative that is proposed.

In short, if you do not know what the elements of the narrative are and what your needs and functions are in the text, you will not be able to create a readable story.

We will now look at each of these elements in detail:


The plot of a narrative is the first and most important element, since it is the theme or subject of the story that will be told, without plot there is no story. The plot can be treated in a linear or non-linear way, it is up to the writer to decide what is best for the development of the narrative.

In addition to the central storyline that moves the narrative, there is also the psychological plot, which is focused on the thoughts of the characters. The narrative of the story can occur in a linear chronological way or through flashbacks, following the occurrence of the actions, but this is also chosen by the author.

Narrator or Narrative Focus

Different names, but with the same function: to represent the voice of the narrative, after all, a story is always told by someone. The narrator can make the story of the facts from different perspectives, which consequently confers to him different characteristics, just look:

Narrator Character: This narrator actively participates in the story as a character in the plot. He can be the main character, or even a secondary one. It is easy to identify: if a text has this type of narrator, the story will always be told in the first person singular (I) or first person plural (we)

Narrator Observer: This type of narrator, as the name says, acts observing and reporting the events occurred in the plot, but different from the character narrator, the observer narrator does not participate in the story. This type of narration is necessarily performed in the third person singular (he, she) or in the third person plural (they, they)

All-Knowing Narrator: The omniscient narrator is the one who knows the whole story, knows in depth all the details of the narrative being told.

In contrast to the observer narrator, who tells the facts by his particular view of the plot, the omniscient narrator knows everything about each of the characters in the plot, including his more private thoughts and ideas, secrets and veiled attitudes. When told by this type of author, the story may appear narrated in the first person singular (I) or third person singular (he, she).


The characters of a narrative text are the people who are present in the story and participate in it. According to the level of participation in the plot are called:

Main characters or protagonists: when they act very actively and are the main nucleus of history

Secondary or supporting characters: these characters appear in the story but do not present great prominence or vital importance in the plot.


Every narration has a time count that determines the progress of the story. It can be of two types:

Chronological, when it follows an order of events and present expressions that mark the time (in those years, yesterday, last week, etc …)

Psychological, where there is no linearity of the facts occurred, since it follows a particular time that occurs in the minds of the characters, in their flows of thoughts, in this way, mixing past, present and future.


Narrative space is where the story unfolds. Space can be physical or psychological.

When the narrative space is physical, the place where the story goes is indicated by the narrator (city, beach, farm, country, etc.) and can be a real or fictional place. Subdivisce in: closed spaces – house, bedroom, school … or open spaces – street, town, neighborhood …

In the case of psychological narrative space is the inner environment of a character, there is no physical space that is clearly revealed. Here the story is told in a flow of thoughts, of feelings, without delimitation of place.

We are sure that it is much easier to write your narrative text, is not it? So remember, whenever you need help with your questions, the Academic Project is ready to help you!

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