Composing

So, youโ€™re planning on writing a NARRATIVE in the Composing Section?

Hereโ€™s what you need to cover to get the best mark possible ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿ„ Focus on QUALITY not quantity โ€“ think twice about covering too much time. Some of the best short stories only cover an hour or two.

๐Ÿ„ Focus on the DETAILS.

๐Ÿ„ Choose a GENRE if you like โ€“ science fiction, thriller, fantasy etc โ€“ and weave in its conventions.

๐Ÿ„ 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 โ€“ short sentences are great for this.
  4. Climax
  5. Resolution

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

๐Ÿ„ CHARACTERISATION โ€“ details will bring them to life!

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

๐Ÿ„ Depending on the question, you may be required to show an underlying THEME, ISSUE, SOCIAL VALUES, ATTITUDES etc.

๐Ÿ„ Show off your LANGUAGE ABILITY

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

๐Ÿ„ Vary your sentence lengths and types โ€“ short, compound and complex. Donโ€™t start them the same way all the time.ย  Mix it up.ย  Keep it fresh!ย  It makes it interesting.

๐Ÿ„ Proofread to within an inch of your life! Capitals, apostrophes, speech marks, spelling, paragraphs, full stops, commas.ย  A common punctuation error is the comma splice โ€“ students use a comma to punctuate the end of a sentence when it should be a full stop.

๐Ÿ„ย CHEATโ€™S TIP:ย  If youโ€™ve reached Yr12 and still donโ€™t know how to use a comma, well, at least you're honest!ย  Don't sweat it at this late stage.ย  But STAY SAFE and perhaps only use full stops.ย  Except in lists โ€“ surely you know how to use a comma in a list ๐Ÿ˜Šย ย  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.

๐Ÿ„ย Sometimes the question may ask you to only write the OPENING OF A NARRATIVE.ย  In this case, the focus must definitely be on the detail (setting and character).ย  Bringing your scene to life.ย  Introduce the conflict and then end your narrative at that point.