Study S2 English English - Narrative Writing - Question Analysis And Building Characters - Geniebook

Narrative Writing - Question Analysis And Building Characters

In this chapter, we would be discussing essay writing skills, how to do question analysis and building characters. Below mentioned are the topics that would be covered:

  • Essay Writing Skills 

- Narrative Writing: Write a story titled “The Festival”

  • Question Analysis
  • Establishing Relevant Themes
  • Narrative Vocabulary

 

Narrative Essay

What to look out for in your essay: “The Festival”

  • A narrative essay must use appropriate descriptive phrases, metaphors, similes and some dialogue or introspection to build the characters.
  • A good essay would build up the various aspects of the festive celebration and the central character’s emotions.
  • By setting up the central character as one who is jaded and unreceptive to the celebration, it creates a depth of character as he later undergoes development and comes to appreciate his family better.

 

Differences In A “Descriptive” Essay

Examine the following descriptive question: 

“Describe a festival that you celebrated with your family.”

Both narrative and descriptive essay writing require description. While narratives are focused on the character and plot development, descriptive essays require you to detail the sights and sounds of the physical scene and the actions of others through your senses.

 

Let’s understand the above topics with the help of some examples:

 

Question 1:

Excerpt:

Crowded around the mahogany dining table was a gaggle of aunts, with some of them perched on the edge of the rickety chairs as they leaned in to share the latest gossip. Others were engaged in a heated debate over which of their children had the most impressive achievements. I briefly registered my sister being forcefully dragged into the conversation; her eyes as wide as saucers as the aunts mercilessly barraged her with questions on her marriage.

 

This excerpt focuses on the physical scene and details.

The excerpt above is from a / an __________ essay. 

 

  1. Argumentative
  2. Expository
  3. Narrative
  4. Descriptive

 

Answer:

(D) Descriptive

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option No. D i.e. Descriptive because it not so much tells an opinion. He is actually describing what is happening around him.

 

Question 2:

Excerpt:

“Ah Xi, when are you and your lovely Caucasian husband going to have babies?” squealed Aunt Ling as the rest of the older women strategically placed themselves around Jessie to corner her in the dining hall. As the youngest aunt, Aunt Ling was eight years my senior, but she seemed to have forgotten attending Jessie’s wedding barely three months ago. “This gathering could use a few more toddlers to liven up the atmosphere. My Jacob is outgrowing his toys and moving on to storybooks; he’s only five!”

 

This excerpt focuses on the development of the story character and plot (with conflict, climax and resolution).

 

  1. Argumentative
  2. Expository
  3. Narrative
  4. Descriptive

 

Answer:

(C) Narrative

Explanation: 

The correct answer is Option (C) i.e. Narrative because it focuses on the character and on the plot, and it’s trying to drive some sort of conflict or climax that has been described.

Here, the main character is being asked by relatives to have babies, but she does not want to talk about it. So there is a conflict going on and the story is moving forward, hence it is more of a narrative than that of descriptive.

 

Question 3:

Which of these options is not a step to build characters in your story?

 

  1. Define your central character
  2. Building tension until the climax
  3. Develop his/her character traits
  4. Decide on your supporting characters

 

Answer:

(B) Building tension until the climax

Explanation: 

The correct answer is Option (B) i.e. building tension until the climax is not a step to build characters in the story.

Defining your central character is a way to build the character, defining his traits is a way to build character and deciding on who are the supporting characters is also a way to build a character.


 

Vocabulary Corner

Beef up your vocabulary to engage your readers and create memorable characters.

For the next section, you will need to fill in the blanks in the excerpts with the most suitable word(s).

The meaning of the word(s) is provided for you in bold.

 

Question 4: 

Excerpt: 

I rolled my eyes and proceeded to finish dressing, moving as slowly as possible. As Mum called out again, the __________ voice in my head thought: For all her insistence on following Chinese New Year customs, she does not quite realise that raising her voice during the festive season brings bad luck.

Meaning: to say something amusing while affecting a serious manner

 

  1. Deadpan
  2. Gamely
  3. Auspicious
  4. Venerable

 

Answer:

(A) Deadpan

Explanation: 

The correct answer is Option (A), i.e., deadpan, which means something very amusing but the face is very serious.

 

Question 5: 

Excerpt:

On the first day of the Lunar New Year, my younger sister and I would be __________ in every shade of red to visit our relatives.

Meaning: dressed to perfection; to the highest degree

 

  1. Formidable
  2. Raucous
  3. Dressed to the nines
  4. Venerable

 

Answer:

(C) Dressed to the nines

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (C), i.e., dressed to the nines. It is just an English idiom which means dressed to perfection; to the highest degree.

 

Question 6: 

Excerpt: 

Sadly this __________ colour never seemed to ward off Mum’s incessant nagging year after year. I fumbled with the last button of my neatly pressed crimson shirt before tucking it into my burgundy jeans. 

Meaning: favourable or lucky

 

  1. Conclave
  2. Auspicious
  3. Matriarch
  4. Chagrin

 

Answer:

(B) Auspicious

Explanation: 

The correct answer is Option (B), i.e., auspicious, which means lucky.

 

Question 7:

Excerpt:

I squeezed past Jessie and Rodrigo to get to my brick red loafers, barely noticing their matching outfits in a garish hue of magenta. The young Spaniard had taken to local customs like a duck to water, __________ donning a tangzhuang with stitching of a tacky-looking dragon.

Meaning: enthusiastically; pluckily

 

  1. Raucously 
  2. Venerably
  3. Precariously 
  4. Gamely

 

Answer:

(D) Gamely

Explanation:

Gamely means very enthusiastic, i.e., dare to play things. Hence, the correct answer is Option (D), i.e., gamely.

 

Question 8:

Excerpt:

I looked up from slicing sea cucumbers to return her a polite New Year greeting. She waved her hand dismissively, for I had been saying the same phrase for decades. “You’ve never gotten the festive spirit after thirty years; your __________ is written plainly all over your face,” chuckled Grandma over the hiss of her wok.

Meaning: a feeling of vexation, marked by disappointment or humiliation

 

  1. Deadpan
  2. Charring
  3. Herring 
  4. Chagrin

 

Answer:

(D) Chagrin

Explanation:

The correct answer is Option (D), i.e., chagrin, which means vexed, angry or frustrated.
 

Question 9:

Excerpt: 

As I took my seat amongst the second generation, I slowly took in the __________ laughter and light-hearted banter amidst the loud clinking of drink glasses. I smiled gently, eyes slightly watering at the sight of them.

Meaning: rowdy; disorderly

 

  1. Rabid
  2. Raucous  
  3. Herring 
  4. Deranged

 

Answer:

(B) Raucous

Explanation: 

Rabid means crazy, deranged means crazy and raucous means loud.

Hence, the correct answer is Option (B), i.e., raucous.


 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

Excerpt:

“You don’t say; I’ve ‘celebrated’ four more New Years than you did,” I typed on my phone, feeling increasingly __________ at the back, no thanks to the pile of mandarin oranges on my lap and Rodrigo flailing his arms next to me, along to New Year tunes he strangely knew the lyrics to.

Meaning: a fear of being in enclosed or narrow spaces

 

  1. Raucous 
  2. Gaggle
  3. Formidable 
  4. Claustrophobic

 

Question 2:

Excerpt:

But giving away money was hardly the worst New Year’s custom, given the long list of traditions that took place at Grandma’s house. She was a formidable matriarch who made sure all of her children and their children carried on the numerous rites of this __________ occasion.

Meaning: commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity

 

  1. Incessant
  2. Venerable 
  3. Auspicious  
  4. Inconspicuous

 

Question 3:

Excerpt:

I quietly tiptoed past the __________ of aunts to be as inconspicuous as possible, weaving through the stands of beer cans precariously perched atop one another before I could be bombarded with any awkward questions.

Meaning: a noisy or disorderly group or gathering

 

  1. Sous Chef
  2. Raucous 
  3. Conclave 
  4. Gaggle

 

Question 4:

Excerpt:

I ambled into the kitchen to seek refuge from my nosy relatives. I knew I would end up as Grandma’s __________, busying myself with dinner preparations, my job every year since I got tall enough to reach the stove.

Meaning: the second in command in a kitchen

 

  1. Sous Chef
  2. Raucous 
  3. Conclave 
  4. Matriarch

 

Question 5:

Write 2 paragraphs for a story titled “The Festival”.

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Comprehension Skills (Non-Narrative Text) IYOW Questions Editing And Visual Text
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