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How to Start a Narrative Paragraph


A narrative story is told from the point of view of the storyteller, or narrator. You can tell a narrative story in either the third person or the first person. A good narrative paragraph is clear, descriptive, and helps move the story along.

Decide on a perspective. A first-person narrative is written from one character's point of view, using first-person pronouns. "I started writing my narrative paragraph in the first person" is an example of a first-person narrative. The first person puts the reader in the mind of the one telling the story, but also limits the emotions and knowledge of events to that of a single character. The third-person limited perspective is written with the narrator watching from a distance, and uses third-person pronouns. "He chose to start writing his narrative in third-person limited form" is an example.

Create your narrator and begin crafting her personality. A defining trait of a narrative is that the story comes through the perspective of the narrator, so you need to know how your narrator will view events as they unfold. Autobiographical stories are relatively easy to write in narrative form compared with fiction, in which you must take time to understand how your narrator sees things and keep that in mind in every narrative paragraph.

Choose a setting: the time and place where your narrative is taking place. The setting is just as important as your characters, so you should give it just as much life. Use vivid imagery to in your narrative paragraphs to create a sense of time and place. Remember to filter your descriptions through the eyes of your narrator. Don't describe things necessarily as they are, but as the narrator sees them.

Use as few words as possible without sacrificing content. A well-written narrative draws the reader in with needed details, but also must move the story along at a steady pace. Don't bog your narrative down by being overly descriptive. Keep the story moving forward, especially at the start of each narrative paragraph.

About the Author

Matthew Lieber has been a professional copywriter and editor for more than 5 years. He previously worked in the public relations sector, as well as in online marketing. Lieber holds bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science.

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