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What are the differences between narrative and descriptive writing? While writing either what should we keep in mind?

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thank you very much it helped me allot to understand the difference between descriptive and narrative writing.... –  user2857 Nov 12 '11 at 20:35
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Narrative writing tells a story or part of a story.

Descriptive writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writer’s experience.

See here and here.

So in narrative writing, the writer is perfectly capable of telling you the plot of the story, while in descriptive writing there does not have to be a plot, but something has to become very easy for the reader to visualize.

Let's look at the Lord of the Rings. The way J.R.R. Tolkien describes a hobbit is very descriptive, and the reason the movies were so successful was not only because the story was told correctly (the book being narrative writing also), but because the readers did not have to come up with their own imagination of a hobbit (or other figures, places, and such). They were described in detail, giving everybody a very precise framework of imagination to work from. Therefore everybody could relate to and agree upon the characters and the make-up of the artists.

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@malach how do I know, that I should stop description and go on narration? –  gaussblurinc Apr 16 '13 at 17:28
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  • Descriptive Writing paints pictures with word or recreates a scene or experience for the reader.
  • Narrative Writing on the other hand, relates a series of events either real or imaginary or chronologically arranged and from a particular point of view.

for short the Descriptive is to describe and the Narrative is to tell information :)

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