In the early dawn of civilization there was story-telling - a form of entertainment and information, that exists even today. Bards were minstrels, who arranged the information on the historic events of the time in simple song and story. Due to them the information was handed down from generation to generation long before any form of writing was invented. The bards were, perhaps, the first to invent memory systems. Thus the art of narration developed. Narration is a record (account) of either real or imaginary events. Narratives may consist of a single sentence as well as run into many volumes.
Kinds of narration
The simplest classification divides narratives into two major groups - simple and complex. Simple narratives include personal experiences, biography and history. We may relate incidents of which we know personally, we may repeat what has been told to us, or we may tell about something we have read.
Simple narratives are grouped according to the manner of presentation into:
1) a simple catalogue of incidents, such as those included in diaries, ships' logs, minutes of meetings, etc.;
2) reports that announce the point in the opening, as given in the newspaper articles, some magazine articles, and some speeches:
3) interesting and natural stories.
The so-called complex narratives usually take the form of short stories or novels. This form must have a plot.
Both simple and complex narratives may be authentic or imaginary. The elements of narration
There are three elements in a narrative: the characters about whom the story is told; the plot -
the action of the story; the background or setting - the place and time at which the story is set.
Ways of arrangement of incidents:
1) traditional opening by the four w's - that is an account of who the characters were, where the action took place, when it took place, and why the incident is being related.
2) adhering to a strict chronological order in which the events happened;
3) beginning with an interesting incident in the middle of the tail and later going back and gathering up the introductory incidents.
The impression of rapid action is secured by:
1) omitting all but the essential facts;
2) using short crisp sentences;
3) using many short words that denote quick motion
When the desired effect is one of slow movement the technique is the reverse of that just outlined:
1) use many details;
2) use longer sentences;
3) use longer words, many suggestive of slow motion.