Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Writing Tip -- Narrative vs. Exposition

I've been asked a couple of times lately to explain the difference between narrative and exposition. Sounds like a great blog topic to me!

Narrative -- narrative links the dialogue together. For instance: Tom crossed the floor and picked up the antique vase, wondering where it had come from.

Exposition -- exposition tells us what happened in the past and catches us up-to-date. For instance: When he'd been working as an excavator in Mexico, he'd seen some artwork that reminded him of the designs on this vase. But in Mexico, his mind had been on anything but art. Instead, his days and nights had been consumed by thoughts of a certain dark-eyed girl and the way she flicked her hair over her shoulder as she walked away from him. Always walking away from him.

Essentially, narrative tells us what's going on now and exposition tells us what did go on, a little while ago. It's a past and present thing.

7 comments:

Shari said...

I had never even thought about what the difference between the two even was. Thank you, Tristi, the all-wise, all knowing author, for teaching me.

Rebecca Talley said...

Yes, you are all-wise and all-knowing. I didn't even know there was a difference!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Ooh . . . would those be excerpts from your current ms? Cause I want to read more!!! :)

Thanks for the examples. I tend to get confused between the two sometimes.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Tristi, my friend . . .

You've been tagged over on QOTC. Come check it out!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Danyelle,

Nope, those aren't excerpts from anything -- just little blurbs I made up for illustration.

Kimberly said...

That's one of my main focuses during my first round of rewrites. More narrative, less exposition.

grene said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

http://grillsblog.com

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