Composing

So, you’re planning on writing a NARRATIVE in the Composing Section?

Here’s what you need to cover to get the best mark possible 😊

🍄 Focus on QUALITY not quantity – think twice about covering too much time. Some of the best short stories only cover an hour or two.

🍄 Focus on the DETAILS.

🍄 Choose a GENRE if you like – science fiction, thriller, fantasy etc – and weave in its conventions.

🍄 STRUCTURE is important:

  1. Exposition
    • Describe the setting (year, time of day, country, urban / rural, location, weather)
    • Introduce your main character(s)
  2. Introduce a conflict or problem:
    • character vs person
    • character vs self
    • character vs environment
    • character vs society
  3. Create rising tension – short sentences are great for this.
  4. Climax
  5. Resolution

Your narrative structure can be chronological, use flashbacks, have a circular structure.

🍄 CHARACTERISATION – details will bring them to life!

  • speech
  • actions
  • thoughts – via first person or third person pov
  • appearance
  • interaction with other characters
  • values
  • attitudes

🍄 Depending on the question, you may be required to show an underlying THEME, ISSUE, SOCIAL VALUES, ATTITUDES etc.

🍄 Show off your LANGUAGE ABILITY

  • descriptive language - verbs, adjectives, and verbs
  • figurative language – simile, metaphor, personification, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, alliteration, allusion, symbolism

🍄 Vary your sentence lengths and types – short, compound and complex. Don’t start them the same way all the time.  Mix it up.  Keep it fresh!  It makes it interesting.

🍄 Proofread to within an inch of your life! Capitals, apostrophes, speech marks, spelling, paragraphs, full stops, commas.  A common punctuation error is the comma splice – students use a comma to punctuate the end of a sentence when it should be a full stop.

🍄 CHEAT’S TIP:  If you’ve reached Yr12 and still don’t know how to use a comma, well, at least you're honest!  Don't sweat it at this late stage.  But STAY SAFE and perhaps only use full stops.  Except in lists – surely you know how to use a comma in a list 😊   By NOT putting them in the wrong places, you prevent your work from being penalised so heavy when it comes to sentence structure and punctuation.

🍄 Sometimes the question may ask you to only write the OPENING OF A NARRATIVE.  In this case, the focus must definitely be on the detail (setting and character).  Bringing your scene to life.  Introduce the conflict and then end your narrative at that point.

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