10 Things to Remember When Writing a Narrative

Below I have included highlights from a PowerPoint Presentation on Narrative Writing, I presented to a group of 5th graders. The text reads as if giving instructions to students. Below the article are links to the PowerPoint and a printable handout for students to use in assessing their narrative writing.

Great blog post with printables to guide students through writing narratives.
Number 1 – Strong Beginning

Your story needs a strong beginning. You can achieve this using one of the following methods:

  • Dialogue (Conversation)
  • A Question
  • A Vivid Description
  • An Interesting Fact
  • Sound Effects

Number 2 – Paragraphs

Be sure your story has paragraphs. They tell when you’re switching time, place, topic or speaker, and they help break the page up, so it is not just a solid block of writing.

Number 3 – Capitalization & Punctuation


  • Beginnings of Sentences
  • Proper Nouns


  • End Marks (question mark, period, exclamation marks)
  • Commas when joining two sentences with a conjunction, addressing a person, with quotations, etc.

Number 4 – Use Rich Words

Remember words such as said, went, and put are DEAD. Use words that describe the action.

Number 5 – Wow Words

Show your reader that you have a high-quality, first-class, superior, excellent, exceptional, outstanding, brilliant, extraordinary, incomparable vocabulary by using 5th grade vocabulary words.

Number 6 – Show, Don’t Tell

The Show, Don’t Tell method of writing is when the writer is able to create a picture in the reader’s mind, to get away from the repetition of such empty words like went, big, or said.

Number 7 – Conversation

The Five Rules for Writing Direct Quotations

#1 Rule

#2 Rule

#3 Rule

#4 Rule

#5 Rule

Add quotation marks.

Separate source phrase from quote.

Capitalize the first word of the direct quotation.

Add end marks.

Add needed capitalization and punctuation.


Number 8 – Sentences

Be sure to vary your sentences. Some should be short while others are long. Make sure the sentences begin using different parts of speech.

Number 9 – Figurative Language

Use a little figurative language to add interest to your story.

  • simile
  • metaphor
  • alliteration
  • personification
  • onomatopoeia

Number 10 – Plot Structure

Your story needs to have the following:

  • a plot, including setting and characters
  • a climax (This is when the plot is solved.)
  • an ending


You may download this free PowerPoint Presentation which goes over this information in more detail by clicking on the image below.


PowerPoint on Narrative Writing


Download this Narrative Writing Checklist by clicking on the image below.

Narrative Writing Checklist

If you are interested in detailed lesson plans on writing narrative writing, you may wish to take a look at these two products on Teachers Pay Teachers.

alt= The City of Ember contains a full set of lessons for teaching narrative writing using quotations.
Gay Miller


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