English Composition I
Narration the art of storytelling
Narration can be told in many forms and styles, as a fiction, factual, or a message that tells the specifics of an act or incidence or course of events as they happen, presented in a form of writing or drama or movies/television programs or in an audio form (Wikipedia Encyclopedia and Thomson Learning). In the early 1900’s African American families, sat around their elders to hear stories about their past ancestors, similar to what the native American do today. Ernest J. Gaines mentions a true representation of a pure form of storytelling in this passage.
I come from a long line of storytellers. I come from a plantation, where people told stories by the fireplace at night, people told stories on the ditch bank . . . . People sat around telling stories. I think in my immediate family there were tremendous storytellers or liars or whatever you want to call them . . . . They would talk and talk and talk, and I listened to them. (Laney 1974:3)
As you can see the stories told to Mr. Gaines, is a memory that will stay with him for the rest of his natural life. A narrative story should have the same effect on his audience, should be captivating, intriguing, or the very least interesting. Anyone, who ever told a story, would want their story to be remembered and share to other, so that story or memory can live vivid in the minds of the listener. To accomplish that type of captivating success, the textbook Wordsmith (Pamela Arlov 142-50), offers some helpful techniques to improve your narration skills. The textbook uses six narration characteristics of a successful story. The first characteristic is placing emphasis on the important detail of the story and down playing does other details that are not relevant to the story. Then relate your story in a chronological order. The use of center on conflict and the use of dialogue can also help your story and finally, make a point or have a purpose for your story. Good stories can posses one or more of these characteristics, the more characteristics you incorporate into your story, the more you and your readers would enjoy it as well. One of the characteristics that can make your story successful is placing emphasis on those details, which are related with your story. To accomplish this, you must focus the content of your writing around the main topic. Therefore, omitting those events that are not related to the main topic or event. For instance in the short story “Complaining” (Angelou 523-24), the author maintain the emphasis or focus point on the customers behavior and comments as they enter the store. She does not make any attempt to describe the relationship with her grandchild or how often her child help around the store. The author maintains the emphasis on the customer mannerisms throughout the story, because their behavior ties with the moral of the story. Towards the end of the story the grandmother said as she always said to all her customer that came to her store to whine “ sister, there are people who went to sleep all over the world last night, poor and rich, black and white, but never wake again”(Angelou 523-24). Then she gives the blanket, a particular significant, she refer to it as “winding sheets” a place of rest, where complaining stops. So the questions place on her customer minds was, can you really complaint about of been alive? Do you want to spend your life complaining or living it? The author maintains the emphasis on the important aspect of the story, and left out or de-emphasized those details that were irrelevant to the main point.