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Narrative Writing Guide

Narrative Requirements

  • Narrative story must have at least six paragraphs.
    • First paragraph should introduce characters (no more than three) and setting
    • Second paragraph should introduce the problem that sets the story into motion
    • Third paragraph should include a few events that happened after the problem
    • Fourth paragraph should feature the most exciting or suspenseful event (climax)
    • Fifth paragraph should include two failed solutions.
    • Sixth paragraph should resolve the problem.


  • Story must begin with one of the following three beginnings:
    • mid-action
    • mid-dialogue
    • mid-description


  • There should be dialogue in only one paragraph and it should be formatted in the following ways:
    • Dialogue must include quotation marks and appropriately placed commas
    • Dialogue must include a speaker tag before, after, or within the quote.  Speaker tag includes the name of the speaker, and the way that the quote is being said. 
      • Mrs. Koldyk announced excitedly, “We are writing a story today!”
      •  “I cannot wait to read your narratives,” Mrs. Stroh pronounced. 
      • “Your stories must include,” Mrs. Koldyk continued, “at least six paragraphs.”
    • “Said” may not be used in your speaker tags


  • Story must include figurative language.
    • Two examples of similes
    • One metaphor
    • Three very descriptive imagery examples


  • Sentence structures should be varied.
    • You should include at least five complex or compound sentences.
    • There should be no run-on sentences or sentence fragments.
    • Sentence starters should be different.