Press Release

How to hone your narrative writing skills

  • Many aspire to write and have it in them but to realise this talent help from the teachers goes a long way

Bed time stories have been popular among children from time immemorial. Generations have grown up listening to stories from grandparents and parents. Childhood bed time stories remain etched in children’s memory for a longer time. How lovely would it be if we could craft stories.

It is possible if a teacher helps students through a systemic approach and applies best practices to teach narrative writing skills. Every child can master in narrating a story by penning their ideas vividly through practice. Though it is also true not everyone can be a Charles Dickens, George Bernard Shaw or S.E Hinton. But they can surely be good narrative writers.

Robin Moore once said, “Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” Children often juggle up their ideas and thoughts and end up being in frustration for not being able to express their ideas beautifully and clearly through writing. Effective strategies at every level of the writing process can aid children harness their writing prowess and be an impactful storyteller for the audience and their peers.

Every day we come across many stories from all walks of life from gossip on the doorstep with a fellow neighbour to the ads flashing from billboards and television on the road on daily basis. Every instance is telling a story through different mediums, which is much of an art, of storytelling and when it comes to children craft a good tale on paper, this too has a good set of challenges.

Let’s discuss some of the best practices and strategies for teaching narrative writing to students as it helps build creative thinking skills and makes imagination power strong in students. Narrative writing skill helps communicate ideas impact fully that one can connect with the story to the real life characters.

The following five ways and methods can help students master their creative literary skills

Graphic elements

A graphic element helps enhance a write-up and narrative context as it highlights the visual context of the story. Graphic designers can outline and teach students the skills to spot and use the best narrative style and structure to the story. For example, students can first draft a narrative timeline with a sequence of events occurring in the story to ensure their story has all the necessary ingredients of a narrative style.

Colour coded technique

Shalini Mehta, a language teacher in a school says, “I use a very different approach for teaching narrative writing to my students which is the colour coded strategy, in which students analyse details of the writing by marking it with different colours.” For instance, students can mark blue colour for the plot, green colour for the character development or yellow colour for the scene narration. This approach helps students in distinguishing what kind of content they have used and what is still left to be included. In this way, they can improve their narrative structure and style.

Goodbye to writing jitters with pre-writing sessions

Lack of ideas not flowing organically is also a crucial problem in some students. It makes their minds blank and creates obstacles in thinking vividly. Here the prewriting conversations help students discuss their story ideas with the peers and then teachers ask random students to share their story ideas aloud with the entire class. This method allows students to delve deeper as writers by penning down their ideas with words, images, key phrases and highlights. This activity cements their spoken stories in their memory and then they can start writing independently.

Reading is the crux

Before writing your own story, it is best to read and go through some of the literary works of writers. Students can read and examine a familiar narrative which interests them to get the hang of the different narrative patterns and develop their own narrative style and structure. Through avid reading, they come across different genres and also learn the mechanics of writing.

Don’t tell, show

One of the best techniques to craft students’ narrative writing prowess is to make them act out a scene from their story as the exercise helps them hold the key narrative elements lucidly. Students read aloud story scenes and act it out so that they decipher the scene with main character actions and breaks down it into a timeline by creating small descriptive paragraphs of events that occurred in the scene. This strategy comprises vivid character details, setting of the plot, dialogue and internal thinking.

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