Stories are everywhere – in newspapers, books, on TV and the internet. Every day conversation is full of anecdotes and real life stories.
Storytelling is a unique human skill shared between people, and is one of our oldest artforms. It brings words and the world to life, stimulates the imagination, and builds a sense of community between tellers and listeners.
In fact, all of us are storytellers. We all love telling narratives about our experiences and the meanings that these experiences have for our lives.
In this post we are going to practice creating narratives. In order to help you you can have a look at the document below:
Yes, but how important are stories for you? Are you more of a storyteller or a storylistener? Listen to this talk by African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
a) What kind of stories did she write when she was a child? Why?
b) What made her change her view of what stories should talk about?
c) What shocked Chimamanda’s university roommate in the US?
d) What is the image westerners have of Africa, according to Chimamanda?
e) What is the tradicitional description of Africa in western books?
f) What does she mean when she says that stories are defined by the principle of nkali?
g) Why shouldn’t we only focus on negative experiences?
What is a narrative?
A narrative is some kind of retelling, often in words (though it is possible to mime a story), of something that happened (a story). The narrative is not the story itself but rather the telling of the story — which is why it is so often used in phrases such as “written narrative,” “oral narrative,” etc. While a story just is a sequence of events, a narrative recounts those events, perhaps leaving some occurrences out because they are from some perspective insignificant, and perhaps emphasizing others. In a series of events, a car crash takes a split second. A narrative account, however, might be almost entirely about the crash itself and the few seconds leading up to it. Narratives thus shape history (the series of events, the story of what happened).
Look at the presentation to learn about the most frequently used verb tenses in narratives:
You can also read the following explanation:
The Narrative Tenses
And put your knowledge into practice:
A short explanation of the use of Past Perfect and two practice parts about it.
A short explanation and 10 sentences with time expressions in which past perfect is used.
A 10-questions quiz: Simple Past or Past Perfect.
A collection of exercises on past perfect, smple past and past perfect continuous
At the end of the page, there are exercises that you might like.
some fill-in-the blanks activities
52 questions to do. Past simple versus Present Perfect.
a 15-question exercise
Writing a Story
In this excellent site Learning American English on line you can find a section devoted to writing that guides you from paragraph level to writing narratives
Now, think about a stoy you would like to tell. To help you plan how you can do it, click on the image below.
Another interesting tool is the Periodic Table of Storytelling:
If you’re seriously consider becoming an author, then the following website will prove very useful: