Creative and narrative writing

For a short story to be compelling, it needs to be given an effective structure. Like all texts, stories have their own basic 'recipe' called 'genre conventions'.

See if you can name the genre conventions of a typical story structure based on the description below:

1

This part of your story must work to engage your reader, beginning to absorb them into your 'story-world'.

2

This part of the story is where you establish the time and place, as well as the general situation.

3

This is where you will use your narrator to tell of an incident or event that the reader feels will spark a chain of events.

4

This section builds the tension – keeps the reader absorbed and guessing/ wondering/ concerned where it all will lead.

5

This is where the problem reaches a head, with suspense creating lots of tension for the reader – showing the reader the possible result of what has come before.

6

This must leave your reader with a sense of satisfaction…or it could be a twist in the tale leaving questions that linger in the mind.

There are also some key features of story telling and narratives that are important. The extract below is taken the very opening of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. In the questions that follow, there will be a small section of this extract and you will be asked to identify a feature in the extract.

Mowgli's Brothers

Now Rann the Kite brings home the night

That Mang the Bat sets free—

The herds are shut in byre and hut

For loosed till dawn are we.

This is the hour of pride and power,

Talon and tush and claw.

Oh, hear the call!—Good hunting all

That keep the Jungle Law!

Night-Song in the Jungle

It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips. Mother Wolf lay with her big gray nose dropped across her four tumbling, squealing cubs, and the moon shone into the mouth of the cave where they all lived. "Augrh!" said Father Wolf. "It is time to hunt again." He was going to spring down hill when a little shadow with a bushy tail crossed the threshold and whined: "Good luck go with you, O Chief of the Wolves. And good luck and strong white teeth go with noble children that they may never forget the hungry in this world."

It was the jackal—Tabaqui, the Dish-licker—and the wolves of India despise Tabaqui because he runs about making mischief, and telling tales, and eating rags and pieces of leather from the village rubbish-heaps. But they are afraid of him too, because Tabaqui, more than anyone else in the jungle, is apt to go mad, and then he forgets that he was ever afraid of anyone, and runs through the forest biting everything in his way. Even the tiger runs and hides when little Tabaqui goes mad, for madness is the most disgraceful thing that can overtake a wild creature. We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee—the madness—and run.

7

This is a type of narrative where the voice speaks as if the events are happening to other people and the narrator is explaining – as if they are watching and the events are not actually happening to them.

It was seven o'clock of a very warm evening in the Seeonee hills when Father Wolf woke up from his day's rest, scratched himself, yawned, and spread out his paws one after the other to get rid of the sleepy feeling in their tips. Mother Wolf lay with her big gray nose dropped across her four tumbling, squealing cubs, and the moon shone into the mouth of the cave where they all lived.

8

This ingredient is shown in the next few lines of the Jungle Book, when the father starts to speak. What is the name for speech that is including in a story?

"Augrh!" said Father Wolf. "It is time to hunt again." He was going to spring down hill when a little shadow with a bushy tail crossed the threshold and whined: "Good luck go with you, O Chief of the Wolves. And good luck and strong white teeth go with noble children that they may never forget the hungry in this world.

9

Writers use techniques in their writing and Kipling uses one here, possibly to highlight the sound or movement of the Jackal – Tabaqui. What is the technique that he is using towards the end of this extract?

It was the jackal—Tabaqui, the Dish-licker—and the wolves of India despise Tabaqui because he runs about making mischief, and telling tales.

10

In the next lines of the extract, Kipling emphasises a theme relayed to the Jackal in order to attempt to tell us exactly what kind of character he is and he uses a technique to do that. Try to pick out a word that appears a lot and see if you can name the technique that is being used:

and eating rags and pieces of leather from the village rubbish-heaps. But they are afraid of him too, because Tabaqui, more than anyone else in the jungle, is apt to go mad, and then he forgets that he was ever afraid of anyone, and runs through the forest biting everything in his way. Even the tiger runs and hides when little Tabaqui goes mad, for madness is the most disgraceful thing that can overtake a wild creature. We call it hydrophobia, but they call it dewanee—the madness—and run.