Narration is the Art of Storytelling
A written or oral narration is the art of retelling a story or information with the use of one’s own words. Rather using the standard textbook approach of education, narration utilizes the concept of catching one’s imagination by infusing life into a particular subject and making it a factual and constructive influence to a person. The enchantment of narration is evidently clear when the storyteller was able to capture the imagination of the audience. The effective use of narrative writing techniques is a manifestation that narration is indeed the art of storytelling.
Being an inherent part of the Charlotte Mason method, narration is the manner of telling again and being able to explain one’s impression of an information that has been learned in his or her own words. The nineteenth century educator said that narrative writing or speaking is an effective tool to assist a person to absorb what he or she learned and enables one to tell to others that information. According to the method, oral narration is the first to be practiced and this can be observed even with the simple storytelling of a pre-school child. Narrative writing follows when the child enters school and be able to put into words what he or she learned. A combination of an effective narrative writing and speaking, where one can be able to express what he or she learned and experienced, comes after. Narration works in a way that a child first retell what he or she read or heard then eventually manifests good communication abilities when as the student gets older, he or she is able to express or explain the information.
The art of narration starts before a child has learned to read when he or she, even prior to formal schooling, can tell back the favorite stories read repeatedly by parents. The child does an impromptu and spontaneous narration when one is able to repeat the stories he or she read thus depicting a picture of a good and effective storyteller. This process naturally and unconsciously progresses when the child enters formal education.
Narration becomes organized when one is exposed to other works such as the words of the Bible, literature, history, biography and it becomes a part of the educational curriculum. It starts with a short paragraph, a brief passage, and then a single page, and eventually build one’s memory and language skills. Narration further enhances one to analyze what he or she learned and prefer which is more valuable to mention again and which is not. Effective narration also connotes profits in the aspects of writing composition, reading comprehension, grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and expressive language skills.
One’s ability to write promptly and effectively, just like in copy work and dictation, is also enhanced through written narration because one is able to put together the skills he or she got through the mental exercise of oral narration and the technical competence of writing.
This starts when a parent ask a child to copy out the narrations which was previously dictated for it to be typewritten and make a print information. The child can eventually make a printed copy of his or her narration without another person and as the child grows older, the topic or issue becomes complicated as well as the narration itself. Aside from retelling the information, the particulars and details and underlying themes of a reading is evident. The storyteller’s own time, opinion, the condition of the personalities involved, types of struggle if any, religious issues and the conflict of the human character are some of the aspects which can be evaluated as a child matures. Evolving from an introductory state to solid narration and to a more complex evaluation, the child eventually elevates from the grammar stage through the philosophical and beyond. The simple preparation of early getting into effective narration will enable one to handle good essay-writing at the collegiate level especially if it is practiced religiously.
Walter Bagehot, in his Literary Studies said that “the art of narration is the art of writing in hooks and eyes.” The rationale is to have the correct idea and the appropriate information conform to themselves; in initially making one’s intellect prepare for the thing to be expected and eventually allowing it to happen. Narration is the recitation of a pieces of information and group of happenings and events, in such a manner to make a wanted consequence (Bagehot, 1911).
Meanwhile, a public speaker’s extremist use of narration varies with that of the print storyteller or story-writer if looked into the aspects of lack of dialogue, personality impression, liberty to discuss details, all of which qualify for platform narrative. There are some comparison in methods though such as in using always a mixture of narration with explanation, description, argumentation and appeal; the practice of caution in the organization of material in order to have a great consequence in the end; the broad exercise of revealing the point of the story and the cautious curtailment of painful details. It goes to say that whether in written or oral, the art of narration is beyond the recitation of journal and information and the sequence of happenings recorded needs a design to convey the true consequence.
The literary form in oral narration tends to be less refine but more emotional as compared with written narration which is more passionate and enhanced in tone. Today, however, a good and effective oral narration varies from the samples of previous generations where a distinguished and ceremonious manner was construed to be the best public speaking. Dignified public speakers are found to be in the luxury of their gallant lofty and fiery fluency and the present generation is somehow burdened when we read their lengthy narration and even letting ourselves not feel the narrator’s presence, voice, and fire. Nonetheless, it is safe to pattern the oral narration, just like the other styles of speech, based on the efficient modern speaking without decreasing our lessening our appreciation for the former school of thought.
According to the book Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, there are techniques which can be used to effectively grab the readers attention in writing narrative. Presenting detailed, developed and focused ideas means how words can create a point, draw a support, and promote elaboration. Organization, which is the internal structure of the narration, is how words were built into sentences and paragraphs and, finally, an organized story with a logical progression of ideas – a beginning, middle and an ending using transition words to connect everything together. The narrative’s voice, which pictures the tone, style, purpose, and audience, explains how words help readers hear a particular writer’s style—or voice—and personality, or make the writer sound like someone else. Word choice is using precise language and phrasing and how this precise word choice show can actions, things and feelings. Sentence fluency refers to the correctness, rhythm, and cadence and how it makes a story flow. Conventions, which means mechanical correctness, is how words hook the reader in the beginning and how words bring a story to an appropriate ending. Another technique has now been added which is the presentation that includes the handwriting, formatting and layout of the narration (Arlov, 2006).
According to Arlov, there is a need for a comprehensive guide in order to put up a clean and orderly presentation of writing and grammar, with countless models and practices to aid concepts or ideas and sharpen skills. Covering all the writing process in a way in which the narrator uses them allows strategies for making subject sentences and writing paragraphs. The proper use of grammar and appreciation of short and entertaining readings will allow the storytellers to take advantage of the strong connection between reading and writing. In the book, Arlov also emphasized the correct ways of prewriting, writing the paragraph, revising, and proofreading, and addressed the concepts of direction, unity, coherence and support as an integral part of writing supporting paragraphs. Arlov further explained grammatical concepts in a systematic and easy-to-understand manner and used interesting readings that reinforce reading skills and illustrate different writing techniques.
In creating the book, Arlov addressed students’ concerns regarding on how they wanted their textbook to be. Since students find textbooks dry and tedious, Arlov included in the book engaging grammar openers, plenty of visuals, and has a writing style. Arlov’s combination of the rhetorical styles models real life writing and also added “Real Writing” examples to make the book even more relevant to students’ lives because students find textbook not important to their lives. The book is 150 pages shorter than the common textbooks and Arlov’s concise approach did not overwhelm students with too much information and provided students with just the right balance of instruction and practice
One of the interesting readings in the book is the Two Ways of Seeing a River by Mark Twain. As a descriptive narrative, the technique of using a precise language was evidently depicted in this Twain’s essay because he certainly employed description through the rich language used to detail the Mississippi river at sunset.
The internal structure of the narrative showed the use of the technique of organization particularly with the presentation of a cause and effect. According to Arlov, the students might point out the first two sentences, “I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too,” sets the stage for a Cause and Effect essay. The essay’s theme certainly explores the effect of experience on perception, where gaining knowledge about the river reveals the dangers hidden beneath, replacing innocent awe with informed analysis.
The technique of presenting detailed, developed and focused ideas created a point, drew a support, and promoted elaboration as evidenced in the compare and contrast format of the narrative. Arlov noted that Twain detailed both the innocent beauty and the analytical dangers of the sublime Mississippi. Students can noticed how the essay is written as “subject by subject” rather than “point by point,” which is to say that each topic is covered fully in turn, rather than each point being compared individually one-to-one. In the concluding paragraph, Twain drew on his comparison of the river in order to offer a thoughtful consideration on the nature of experience and learning.
The use of narrative techniques is only one of the many ways of successfully and effectively capturing the attention and imagination of the audience, whether the public listeners or readers. The delight brought about by narrative writing or speaking makes it a very powerful learning tool and truly the art of storytelling.
Arlov, P. (2006). Wordsmith: A Guide to College Writing, Third Edition. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Bagehot, W. (1911). Literary Studies. London: Dent.