Language and Linguistics

Types of Narration elements structure types of narrator examples


A narrative is a sequential succession of events or actions , carried out by real or imaginary characters, in a certain place and for a certain amount of time, told by someone in a specific way. That is to say, in a certain way a narrative is equivalent to a story, a story or a tale, although they are not entirely synonymous. In this article we will explain the types of narration.

The narratives are inherent to the human being , and he has practiced them from the most ancient times to the present, in formal ways (as in literature ) or informal (as in everyday speech ). The religious, national, family imaginary and even personal memory have the form of narration and are transmitted as such.

The science that studies narratives is known as narratology.

Origin of the narrative

The narrative is as old as humanity itself. We assume that the first stories arose in the heat of the bonfires when the primitive tribe gathered to eat and listen to the stories of the hunt, or the origin myths told by the old sages.

Initially, the stories were loaded with mythical and religious content. They were founding stories that tried to answer the great questions of humanity: what are we doing here? Where we go? Where we come from?

Later, the stories acquired epic-wonderful content. They served to explain and shape the sense of belonging of the nations, considering them descendants of mythical heroes and great actions, or the result of tremendous wars that it is not known if they actually occurred.

Types of narration

1-Fictional narration

Fictional narration is a type of text that tells events originated by the author’s imagination. In this type of narration, the author can be based on elements of reality, which are mixed with fictional elements to create the final work. Types elements and structure of Narration

2-Non-fictional narration

The non-fictional narrative tells of events that actually happened. Events can be “embellished” using literary devices. However, the narrated facts cannot be altered, otherwise, it would cease to be a non-fictional narration.


The story is one of the most popular types of narration. It is a short story in which events that are not very complex are presented.

Some examples of these are ” Rats in the Graveyard ” by Henry Kuttner, ” The Vampire ” by John William Polidori, ” The City with No Name ” and ” In the Crypt ” both by HP Lovecraft,

4-Micro count

The micro-story is a very short narrative. Generally, they do not have more than one paragraph. There are even micro-stories that are just a sentence.

An example of this type of narration is ” The corpus and the canon ” by José María Medina:

Pursued by the Canon, the Corpus reached a dead end. “Why are you harassing me?” the Corpus asked the Canon, “I don’t like you” he added. “The pleasure is mine” replied the threatening Canon.


The legend is a short story that is usually based on real events, which are exaggerated to the point where they are no longer credible. Types elements and structure of Narration

Most of the legends center on a historical person like King Arthur or Joan of Arc. However, there are also legends that are based on particular, existing or imaginary places. Such is the case with the legends about the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis and Avalon.


The myth is a short story in which supernatural events are narrated. Characters from Greek and Roman mythology are usually included, such as the gods of Olympus.

One of the best known myths is that of King Midas, who was able to transform everything his hands touched into gold.


Fables are short stories characterized by the fact of presenting animals as protagonists. In these narratives, the animals are humanized, which means that human capacities are attributed to them, such as speaking.

Another element that defines this type of story is the presence of a moral, which is the teaching that is extracted from the fable.

The most famous fables are those of the Greek philosopher Aesop, who is considered the father of this type of narrative.


The parable is a story told in prose or verse that relies on analogies to explain a principle. Like the fables, this type of narration leaves a teaching.


The epic is a narrative of great length, which is usually told in verse. The main character of this type of narration is a hero, whose qualities are increased.

It usually includes imaginary elements, such as magic and gods. Some examples of the epic are ” The Iliad ” and ” The Odyssey “, attributed to Homer.


The diaries are texts in which the events that occur daily or every certain period of time are narrated. These texts can be fictional (like “The Falke”) or real (like The Diary of Anne Frank).


The novel is a long narrative, usually written in prose. The events that are included, the way of presenting them and the characters are much more complex than those in the story.

” One Hundred Years of Solitude ” by Gabriel García Márquez and ” The Name of the Rose ” by Umberto Eco are some examples of novels. Types elements and structure of Narration

12-Short novel

The short novel is one of the most difficult types of narration to classify, since it can be confused with a short story, since the length of both is similar.

However, the length is not the only element that must be taken into account to determine what a short novel is. The complexity of the actions must also be borne in mind. If the narrated elements are complex, then it will be a short novel and not a story.

Some examples of short novels are ” The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and ” The Devil’s Plates ” by Eduardo Liendo.


News is narrative and informative texts, which can be presented in written form in newspapers, magazines and electronic media or orally on television, radio and other audiovisual media.


The letters are narrative texts whose purpose is to guarantee communication between two parties.

15-Sing of deed

The chanting of deeds is a type of story typical of the Middle Ages , in which the adventures of a heroic character are narrated. The songs are usually presented in verses. An example of these are the ” Poema de Mío Cid ” and ” The song of Rolando “.


Biography is one of the most common non-fictional narratives. This consists of telling the life of a person, without altering or modifying the events that occurred.


The autobiography is a type of narration where the person who writes narrates his own life. For example, the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Types elements and structure of Narration

Narrative elements

In any narrative, some or all of the following appear:

  • Storyteller. The voice and point of view from which the story is told, and who may or may not be involved in the events it tells.
  • CharactersThose actors directly or indirectly involved in the story told, occupying different roles in it: the protagonist (on whom the story focuses), the antagonist (who opposes the protagonist), companion (who accompany the protagonist); and at different levels of importance: main characters (those without whom there would be no story) and secondary characters (accidental or accompanying characters).
  • Place. Every story occurs in a place, be it real or imaginary, and the events can have a greater or lesser level of interaction with the setting where they occur.
  • Time. Every story involves an amount of time of the story’s total duration (narrative time), as well as an amount of time elapsed between the events it narrates (storytime).
  • Plot. The content of the story itself, that is, the number of actions that take place and that move the story towards its resolution and outcome.

Structure of a narrative

Narrating means telling a series of events in an orderly, logical, and sequential way, that builds a total unity when it nears its end, and that has a sense of causality and plausibility, that is, that is credible and makes sense. In that sense, its structure traditionally involves three parts:

  • Home or presentation. Also called balance situation or initial situation, it is the starting point of the story, in which the characters are introduced to us and their situation is detailed at the beginning of the plot.
  • Medium or complication. The characters are led to one or more situations of complexity, which threatens the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of their desires, and which rethinks the initial schemes in which each character was found.
  • End or denouement. The final part in which conflicts are resolved in one way or another, for the better or for worse of the characters, and they find themselves in a new balance situation.

Narrator types

The choice of a narrator often determines many things about a story. In principle, there are two different considerations to make regarding the narrator:

  • Narrative person. It refers to the grammatical choice of the voice of the narrator, that is if he/she will speak in the first person (“I”, “we”) or in the third person (“he/she”, “they/they”).
  • Point of view. It refers to the point of enunciation of the narrator regarding what counts, and maybe:
  • Protagonist. He narrates the events that happened to him, from his own point of view.
  • Witness. It tells the events that happened to a third party, and may or may not be part of the story.
  • Omniscient. He tells the events from God’s point of view: he knows everything, even what the characters think, and he can count every angle of the plot because he knows everything.

Dialogues and descriptions

A dialogue is a moment in which the story reproduces a conversation between two or more characters for its readers or viewers, noting what each person said. Descriptions, on the other hand, are short pauses in narration that provide details and information about what characters, things, or the world around them look like.

Importance of Narration

Narration is a fundamentally human act. It is said that along with the discovery of fire, the burial of the dead, and the incest taboo, the appearance of the narrative is a fundamental element for the emergence of human civilization. In fact, from ancient times until today we continue to narrate in many areas of our life. Types elements and structure of Narration

The literary narrative

Literary narratives, as we have seen, are those that have artistic or aesthetic aspirations, and that are framed in the known narrative genres, which are:

  • StoriesShort to medium-length stories, focused on a line of events that is narrated from beginning to end, with the least amount of interruptions.
  • Micro-storiesHyper-short stories, often smaller than a page, that seek to condense the narrative experience to its minimum extent.
  • Novels. Thick, slow, and rambling narratives, in which the reader enters the universe of the characters and accompanies them during different moments of their lives, following a narrative axis in a more or less dispersed way.
  • Chronicles. Short stories, generally with a recognizable grip on reality, not only seek to entertain through the plot but also to provide information and witness some kind of reality.

Cinematic narration

The film, in its complexity, is also an art form that uses narratives. When we watch a film, we are presented with characters, a plot, a time, a place, and a narrator (in this case it is the camera itself), in order to reproduce a story audio visually.

For this reason, films with strategies similar to novels and stories can be studied. It differs in what is relevant to the film genre itself, such as the division into scenes, the types of cut, or the special effects.

Narration examples

The following are perfect examples of a narrative:

  • A novel written and published as El Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes.
  • Narrated by any movie, like Gone with the Wind.
  • The count of our day that we make to our relatives when we return home.
  • The count made by a witness in a trial to which he has been summoned.
  • The journalistic chronicles that we find in the newspaper.

We hope after reading this post you are able to understood the concept of narration and its types.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button