Types of Narrative Writing

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Narrative Writing

Did you wonder why the newspaper that you read is different from the Pride and Prejudice you finished a week earlier? That is because these two are different forms of narrative. A narrative writing is a storyteller on paper. This story can be real, and can be fake, or a mix of both. A narrative usually has characters, a setting, an antagonist, a plot that thickens and unfolds time to time, and an ending happy, sad or real.

Types of Narrative Writing:

There are 3 major forms of narrative writing. They are:

  • Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Poetry


A fiction is an imaginary narrative, which is based on the writer's thoughts and feelings presented as a collection of many events. A fiction can be any of the following:

  • Novella: A novella is normally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 words. E.g. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Novel: This is a long work of narrative fiction that ranges from 55,000 to 300,000 words. E.g. The Alchemist
  • Short Story: A short story is a form of fiction that can range anywhere from 1,500 to 30,000 words. E.g. Cinderella
  • Parable/Fable: A story that teaches something in the end. E.g. Aesop's Fables
  • Folk Tale: It is a story that parents have passed on to their children through speech over many years. E.g. Japanese Folk Tales
  • Fantasy: A writing that contains unreal settings/magic, is set in a medieval time, sometimes involves mythical creatures or supernatural forms in the plot or theme. E.g. Harry Potter
  • Play: A fiction that is written in the form of exchanging dialogues in communication. E.g. Hamlet, etc.

Read More:

Types of Descriptive Writing

Types of Persuasive Writing


Non-fictions are narratives based on real information or facts or happenings. A non-fiction writing can be any of the following:

  • Biography: A detailed description of a person's life, including their birth, life events and/or death. E.g. Shakespeare's biography.
  • Autobiography: The story of a person as told by that person. E.g. Dreams from My Father.
  • Philosophy: A writing on the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence etc. E.g. Apology
  • History: This is usually recalling a past event and putting in into words. The writer can weave a touch a fiction in it, making it a historical fiction to be compatible with modern times and to add value. E.g. The Art of War
  • Diaries and Journals: A recalling of events in the first person or a magazine that deals with a particular subject put in writing. E.g. The Diary of Anne Frank.
  • Theories and Research: A writing based on assumptions formulated on the basis of facts or findings and supporting that to come up with an end result or an idea. E.g. The Theory of Relativity.


A poetry can be both fictional and/or nonfictional. It is like comparing one twin with another. A poetry is a narrative where the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm.

A poetry may be:

  • Sonnet: A poetry with 14 lines that rhyme. E.g. Shakespeare's Sonnet
  • Epic: A long narrative poems that celebrate the achievements of a hero. E.g. The Epic of Gilgamesh, Illiad, Odyssey, etc. 
  • Limerick: A 5-line poems where lines 1,2 and 5 rhyme. Again lines 3 and 4 rhyme. These poems are usually witty. E.g. The Complete Limerick Book. etc.

These are the different forms that you need to know before the next time you write a narrative. So, now you know what exactly you want to write.

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