EXERCISE LESSON A Simple Narrative

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Diana, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. When you tell someone about something really funny that happens to you, you wouldn't say "Today I tripped and my pants fell down. Isn't that funny?". You'd more likely set up the story. You'd start with what you were doing that led up to that moment, explain how you tripped and lost your pants, and then follow up with the aftermath. It makes it interesting!

    This is what you call a NARRATIVE!

    A narrative is basically what you are doing in each roleplay post; Describing a sequence of events.

    In a narrative, you have three characteristics.

    1. Clearly organized timeline.
    This means you state each action or event in your post within a specific order.

    For Example: Responding to a character's question, and then jumping off a building. (It wouldn't make sense to jump off a building and then try to answer the person's question.)

    2. Making a central point.
    Meaning, the objective of your post or the specific item you are trying to explain. Every post has an objective. This could be anything from replying to a question, beating someone up, or just getting out of a room.

    For Example: Your objective of this scene would be "jumping off a building".

    3. Specific details that DESCRIBE that central point.
    This means that you would describe how you got to your objective.

    For example: If the objective of your post is "jumping off a building", you would give details about what led up to that point and how you did it.

    STORY TELLING TIP: People only care about the -relevant- details.
    Have you ever tried to follow someone's story and they went off on some unrelated tangent about orange juice when they were trying to tell you about a funny event that happened at the coffee shop? Many roleplay posts can make this mistake as well. Make sure the details you're describing have a point and relevance to the scene you're trying to convey.

    You are on top of a building with another character. They have asked you, "What are you doing up here? Why are you doing this!?". You must respond to them and then jump off the building. Remember, to add lots of detail, but only relevant detail.

    You can post it here, or in your blog! :D
  2. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    There I was. On top of that same tall building in Ottawa. Maybe I should jump, why would anyone care? No one cares about someone like me. What is there to like? Im pale, I have heardly a social life and I have no one that loves me for who I am.


    "Hm? What was that sound?"
    I questioned turning my head to see. And there stand right at the door way, was, a girl. Not of the age of atleast 6. She walked up next to me and asked.

    "What are you doing up here?"
    She had the most cutest voice I have ever heard, I turned my head away, that wouldn't stop me though I had to jump. I took a deep breath and looked back at the girl.

    "Im leaving this world little one."
    I gave a weak smile at her. Her eyes started to widden when she finally under stood what I was about to do.

    "Why are you doing this!?"
    She screamed at me. Well sometimes life sucks, "Good bye world!" With those words said I stepped off the building. In mide flight i was turned around and saw the little girls face, tears streaming down her eyes. Why would someone cry for someone like me? Why would she ever care in the first place. Then I realized I'm not the only person that feels like this. I made the wrong decision. Again...


    "OH MY GO...."

    Hows that? I personally think its pretty good, although it could use some fixing up here and there.
  3. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    I remember gazing out over the sea of buildings, swinging my legs as I sat on the edge. Was I scared? No, not really. But then again, I hadn't looked down yet. I was too busy watching the birds fly by.

    "What are you doing up here?"

    I turned my head to your voice. You were leaning on the wall I was sitting on, staying firmly on the safe side. No fear in your eyes yet, just curiosity.

    "Nothing much," I answered, "just thinking."

    "About what?"

    "About how birds don't know how lucky they are, flying around up here, not thinking about how jealous we are? And I'm thinking about kiwis..."

    "Well, this is a weird place to think about fruit."

    I laughed out loud. That was a funny one! "No, not the fruit," I said, still trying to stop giggling. I felt so good up there. "The bird."

    "What about them? They don't fly."

    "Exactly. I remember watching a little animation on the internet, about how this little kiwi pulls all these trees up onto the side of a cliff, and nails them into place. Then he jumped off the cliff, and as he fell, passing all those trees, he felt like he was flying like the other birds."

    "Did he eventually hit bottom?" you asked seriously. I knew then that you were getting worried, and I knew that if I talked to you much longer, you'd try to stop me.

    "You never know. He disappears into the clouds below and the video ends. But that's not the point. The point is, that he flew. You know he's going to die, but he got to do what he most wanted." That was when I stood up, finally looking down. I could feel the wind teasing around my ankles, inviting me in.

    "STOP! Why are you doing this?" I could hear the panic in your voice, trying desperately to understand before it was too late. You didn't know that it was already too late.

    "I want to be a kiwi."

    I heard you choke back that scream as I leaned forward and fell. I felt sorry for you, but I knew I had to do this. I had to hear the wind whistling past my ears, pushing against me to try and hold me back. But the wind can't hold me, and nothing can stop me! Nothing scary; I'm at peace, and I can die happy. And now, as I close my eyes, I feel like I'm flying.
  4. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    "What are you doing here? Why are you here?" She whimpered.

    The wind was picking up at this high altitude. I was barely paying attention. My gaze was down the west side of the Empire State Building.

    "I DIDN'T MEAN TO HURT YOU, Christian!" She screamed.

    "What?! I found you there, with the knife in your hand. Then YOU STABBED ME, LIZ! You obviously didn't take it to heart when I gave you a kidney. I forgave when you slept with Ben. You know what? F*CK YOU! F*CK THIS WORLD!"

    My heart jumped, as my feet suddenly went from concrete to air. I could hear her screams. It felt good to finally take control. Too bad it finally happen when--
  5. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    "What are you doing up here? Why are you doing this!?" Sally screamed, half of her voice lost to the howl of the wind. I didn't look at her. Maybe it was because I was ashamed to or maybe because I didn't want her to see that I was crying. After all, it was my fault that the three of us had gotten into that accident. If I hadn't been screaming, Andy wouldn't have swerved off the road. If he hadn't swerved off the road, he wouldn't be in the hospital in a coma right now. He would be alive. Smiling like he always did, messing with Sally. But he was practically dead, because of me. The worst part was that Sally wouldn't even blame me for it.

    She took my arm, pulling me back, away from the edge of the roof, but I moved away from her touch. "Sally, I have to do this. I can't... I can't think about it anymore. What I did to Andy.. What I did to the both of you..." It didn't feel like I was about to die, it didn't feel like suicide. I didn't even feel like I was atop a building, arguing with my best friend about life or dead.

    I felt so numb. Putting my hands on the railing, I pulled myself onto it and flipped over, dangling. Sally screamed, grasping my hands.

    "I won't let go!" She cried out, "I won't let you fall!"

    But it was impossible for her to keep holding on, because the wind was sharp and she could barely see through her tears. One by one my fingers slipped out of her grasp and I fell, past the blur of buildings and sounds, only one thing in my mind.

    Sally. She was crying. For me.
  6. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    This is my first attempt at RP ever. Here goes (please leave feedback if it's horrible so I know what to fix!^^) :

    I knew it was over. I had known for years. The fear of dying had finally melted away, leaving a numb core that I could hardly call a human being.
    Sitting on top of the apartment building was a normal occurrence; hanging my legs over the edge, hearing almost nothing since the cars were hundreds of feet below, hoping a breeze would push me off so I wouldn’t have to. But today was different. Today I was stronger, and today, I was done.
    What are you doing up here?”
    I sighed; I was not startled. There was little enough feeling left in me to produce that kind of emotion. Standing, I turned to face him but remained on the edge of the building. A soft rain began to fall; nothing more than a mist.
    “Why are you doing this? Your life isn’t over! You are so young, so beautiful, and you have so much to live for.”
    I just shook my head. He would never understand; that was the point. No one understood. I opened my mouth to speak what would be the last he’d ever hear me say.
    “I’m not sorry. And I want you to forget me.”
    I saw him run toward me, but I stepped backwards. Off, down, into what would finally be the peace that living never gave me.
  7. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    "What are you doing up here?" the voice she knew so well asked."Antonio? Is that you?" she asked looking around spotting a ghostly figure, the figure of her husband that die not so long ago. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she stood at the top of the cliff, the sound of the waves breaking against the rocks filled her ears. It was a long way from the top of the hill to the bottom, a deadly fall indeed."Why are you doing this?" his melodic voice asked again full of worry, it was enough to make her sob again. "I can not live with you Antonio! It hurts so much, it hurts so much to be alone." she yelled at the figured she was imagining but did not care, it was going to be over. Soon, she will be with him wherever he was at, and they could be happy again, just like they were when he was still alive. "Do not worry Antonio, I will be joining you..." she whispered softly, her voice shaking as her lips tremble. She turned around, away from the figure of the man she loved the most and took a deep breath and closed her eyes. The breezed caressed her body and invited her to take a step toward the precipice, and she did. Antonio...That was the last thought she ever had before she hit a deadly pointy rock.
  8. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    In the few minutes it took me to get from my apartment to the roof, I had time to think. Think about the pain, the hurt, the devastation. Ever since the day of the accident, since my son died, the family hadn't been the same. I looked up at the grey sky, dark and ominous. As if God had set everything up for that moment.

    "What are you doing up here? Why are you doing this?!" someone shouted above the pouring rain. I turned away from the edge for a moment, to see my daughter standing there.

    My eyes filled with tears. It hadn't been fair to her, she'd had to grow up so fast. She was only eight and already speaking to me like an adult. "Nothing, go back inside, you'll catch a cold," I tried. A final attempt at being a good mother. How could I let her see me do what I was about to do?

    She nodded. I knew she already knew what I was doing, and so, I took that as her final attempt at trying to keep things under control. I hoped her father would treat her right, he always did love her so much, I didn't worry.

    Everything was taken care of and soon, hopefully, I'd see my boy again.
  9. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    I felt as though I could touch the clouds, feel the culmination of air and ice crystals upon my palm as for that moment, I would know what it is to shake hands with a fluff of air and vapor. It calmed my rattled nerves, as my lungs filled with much needed oxygen.

    "What are you doing up here? Why are you doing this!?" I heard a voice cry out from behind me. I thought about it some, withdrawing the hand that was climbing to the heavens. My friend was doubled over, trying to suck as much air into her lungs as they would hold. It was a long way up here, but in my mad scramble, I hadn't the chance to realize.

    My eyes went wide as I inched closer to the edge, my gesticulations wild. "There was a huge spider in my path! You know how much I hate spiders! Their hairy legs and their dripping fangs!" My face adopted a look of disgust, my hands spreading out from one another as to show her the size of the horrible creature. I admit, the measurement was a complete exaggeration, but I despise spiders.

    "Aww, so that's where he went. I was walking my pet Tarantula but the little leash I made for him slipped right off. I've wrangled him though. Would you like to see him?" She made kissy noises, and leg by leg the spider approached, it had been ascending the building all the while!

    I panicked, my fear frenzied mind piecing together the first notion it came to, and I acted upon it. Irrationally, I leapt from the side, feeling the air rushing upwards around me as I made a quick descent to the pavement. The last thought in my mind was that I loathed spiders so.
  10. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    The sun was shining brightly in the sky with white, cotton ball clouds passing over by a gentle wind. It was the perfect day for a walk, picnic in the park, or even an day long bike ride across town but it wasn't that way in my eyes.

    The day couldn't be any darker from my perspective as storms prevailed inside the pit of my stomach and heart. Thoughts rushed through my mind with voices in all directions telling me to do it and to just end the agony and pain I had been feeling for years. It was all interrupted as a voice pierced through my meditative state.

    "Kay.. Kay! Answer me! What are you doing?!" The voice of the long time friend, Milo, bounced around for a bit before I could come back to the world and respond.

    "What is it you want, Milo? I told you I am done. No more. I've spent enough time and money trying to fight this and they won't do as I ask. I am in too much pain." My voice had become dark with thoughts rushing back like a deadly tsunami and I had once again gone silent but, without much hope, I could still hear Milo in the background and was unable to return to that mediation I was in before he arrived.

    "Kay, I know you are in pain but, think of all the other survivors out there. You have a chance at fighting this. Don't go out this way just because of the Cancer." He spoke clearly, firmly, and with much fear ringing throughout my ears.

    "Milo. They said I had 36 hours to live. I don't want to go out in pain. At least let me feel like I am flying. I love you. You've always been my best friend. Send my love to Paul and tell him I've left you both something in my will as an early marriage gift." And with that, I turned, blowing a kiss to Milo, and tipped off the edge of the tower. The wind, blowing through my sparsely scattered hair, the sun shining on my skin, and a great relief lifted off my chest. I felt alive again and it felt wonderful, even if it was only for a few seconds.
  11. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    All I remember were sirens. Ah, sirens, the beautiful whining of it could just send my adrenaline pumping. That's the reason I'm doing this, isn't it? I looked up to the clouds and felt the sun beating down onto my face wrapping me in it's warmth. For a second, I completely forgot where I was, wishing I could be one of them who mock at us stranded on the earth with no chance of freely floating in the middle of the sky. Then, interrupting my thoughts, I heard a voice coming from the door harshly whispering, "What are you doing here?"
    I noticed now that here I was out of breath on the roof of one of my favorite skylines stretching up to be one of the highest in the city. I looked back and there was one of my partners staring at me worriedly and anxiously. The sirens were getting a little louder now. I knew why I was here now and this was my chance. Smiling to myself, I looked back at my partner and yelled at the top of my lungs, "Don't you see? This is why I'm here! My only chance. We have to do this!" I laughed out loudly, relishing in my oh so close victory.
    My partner looked even more bewildered, "Are you crazy? The police are here and they're going to catch us any second! Why are you doing this?!" And at that I snapped at him and glared him down. "Shut, the hell, up." I said in a stern voice. Hah, he looked like he was going to piss his pants. How dare he ask that question, after coming this freaking far. I looked at the ledge, and stared past it with sheer determination. I can do this. I told myself. The sirens were blaring now, they were here. I could here their footsteps echoing, rushing themselves so they could stop me. I smiled, they'll never get here on time. Take this you bastards! Just as I thought that, I found myself running as fast as I could ready to leap off the ledge. There I was, flying off like I was some goddamn superhero. I enjoyed hearing the door slam open and the cops cursing for not stopping me in time. I laughed to myself, pulled onto my cord and headed to safety on the other side. For a few seconds, I again felt like I was one of those clouds, looking down at everyone and mocking how dull their lives were. How stranded in boredom they were, while I was here happily floating in the middle of the sky, enjoying every second of my life.
  12. Re: Writing Exercise: A Simple Narrative

    "What are you doing up here?" came a voice only a few feet behind me.
    I jumped and nearly lost my balance. I turned.

    Devon, of course. With the rushing wind, and waves crashing below, I doubt I would have heard a charging elephant, but Devon's manner of floating through life without being noticed could always conceal her, until she spoke of course. Her voice was harsh and raspy, usually coming out as more of a croak. Usually she didn't speak at all. Today, however, her voice had lost some of its crackle. She sounded authoritative. Maybe the fresh air gave her what she needed.

    "I didn't know anybody else came up here," I replied, after taking a moment to assess the situation. I had never marked Devon as a traitor, but one could never be too certain. We weren't supposed to be on the roof. We weren't even supposed to know it existed. There was nothing to see, really. Grey water below and as far as the eye could see in every direction. Waves crashing into rocks far below. It didn't make freedom seem anymore likely than staying inside.

    Devon didn't reply to me. She just stood there, gazing out over the sea. I caught something in her eye. What was it? regret? nostalgia?

    "Devon?" I asked, tentatively. She ignored me. Then, without a pause, or even so much as a twitch, she stepped - left foot onto the ledge, then right foot over the edge. By the time I got my head peeked over the edge, she was out of sight. Gone. Free? Maybe.

    Suddenly, I couldn't bare the thought of going back inside, trying to go about the normal monotony without little invisible Devon. What had I been waiting for? Rescue? Unlikely. Escape? Even less likely. With a sigh, I stood up, and, miming Devon's movements, stepped up onto the ledge, then before I could give it another thought, took one last step. To where? Who knows.