What Is a Short Narrative Paragraph?

A short narrative paragraph is one narrator's perspective of a main event, scene, occurrence or adventure using organizational choices, imagery and transition words to convey the story. Narratives are often told in chronological order, although that is not mandatory, and can include biographical sketches, personal essays and autobiographies.

The first step to writing an effective narrative paragraph is to determine what story the writer wants to convey. A primary concern is to decide the time boundaries of the story, whether the paragraph captures details of a singular moment in time or a longer stretch, such as an entire year or lifetime. For a short paragraph, it is advisable to focus on a more narrow block of time so that more details can be added.

The next consideration is the author's purpose or whether the writer wants to deliver a message or merely wants to retell a series of events shapes how the paragraph is written. If the author wants to relay a conclusion or message, she should place the lesson at the beginning or end of the paragraph.

To continue, a writer needs to decide the order of major plot points. Whether the story is told chronologically or in a different sequence impacts the reader's experience. To garner the reader's attention, a writer may want to begin with an interesting or exciting action, which might stem from the middle or end of the event.

Lastly, an author should determine what transitions to use. Typically included at the beginning of sentences, transition words connect one sentence or idea to another.