Narrative techniques for writers: 5 options
Do your texts attract attention? Nowadays, it is very complex to retain customers, especially because we are in the so-called ‘video era.’ That’s right; the audiovisual format has become the king of content. However, writing has retained its power; new and improved narrative techniques for writers have emerged.
Although video consumption has risen 85% since the pandemic, words are still an important source of information. Now, what can you do to make a flat and boring text capture and seduce the audience? We’ll tell you here.
What are narrative techniques for writers?
When we talk about narrative techniques, we refer to the tools and methods used by any good essay writer to hook the audience with their texts. Think about that book you like so much or that author you admire. He probably used them in his writings to get his message across in an effective way.
Narrative techniques have to do with internal elements of the text that generate a certain interest on the reader’s part. To achieve this, they use “tricks” such as plot twists, changes of perspective, and character development, but also a certain stylistic format, literary figures, and more.
5 narrative techniques for writers
There are countless literary figures and ways a text can go from dull and boring to completely interesting. In this article, we will focus on the most common narrative techniques for writers, which are 100% proven to help hook your readers.
Remember that these can be applied not only to narrative texts. If you are a feature journalist, copywriter, or content writer, you can use them to give more life to your writing. Now, here we go!
This is about using the points of view of several characters to describe a situation. For example, a family reunion is narrated from the mother’s point of view, then the father, the siblings, and the grandfather. The multiple perspectives can be about the same situation told several times, with details that differentiate each perspective, or weaving the different narratives together.
This is one of the most used narrative techniques for writers because of the dynamism it brings to the writing. There are a number of details that one character may miss and another may not. Therefore, the multiple perspectives brings emotion and rhythm to the text.
In media resources
“This is me. You may wonder how I got into this situation.” This is one of the most commonly used phrases for the in-media technique. It involves narrating a situation from the middle, so you can go back in time and explain the context, return to the present and then continue with the story. A great example of this is the beginning of Disney’s Ratatouille.
This method allows you to hook the audience with something surprising from the beginning and then take the time to be able to describe what brought the main character to that situation. It is one of the most used narrative techniques for writers because of the peak of interest it generates and maintains throughout the story.
To finish with the time game, we have another of the most well-known narrative techniques for writers: the flashback. In the linear narration of the present, it is to expose a situation from the past. Basically a memory. A flashback can only last for a while because it would lose the thread of the central story and is often used as a complement to give details of a situation that contributes to the character’s growth.
The flashback is very easy to incorporate; perhaps that is why it is one of the most used resources. In cinema, graphic elements are used to delimit the beginning and end of a flashback: the scene is in black and white, and photo-like flashes, filters, or special sounds are used. In the literary world, authors prefer to specify that the event in question happened some time ago.
Something very interesting about the narrative is how many things can be said subtly. Symbolism is part of this and is evident in cinema, literature, music, and theater. It is about assigning a specific characteristic to an element and implicitly expressing the relationship throughout the writing.
For example: You can describe that X character’s house is surrounded by flowers that have a specific meaning: sunflowers (joy), daisies (optimism), and roses (passion). In this way, an implicit relationship is made between the flower’s meaning and the protagonist’s personality.
Without going any further, symbolism is even seen in how we describe a character: If he has unruly hair, he is probably in trouble. If he looks well-groomed, he’s trying hard to make an impression. If his nails are bitten, you can sense that he is anxious.
Boom! Finally, the one you’ve been waiting for, right? Literary figures can change the pace of a story, add emotions, and give the reader clear images of what is being described. For example:
There are undoubtedly many more narrative techniques for writers, but these are the main ones. Are there any you would add?