Narrative poetry is poetry that tells a story. In its broadest sense, it includes epic poetry; some would reserve the name narrative poetry for works on a smaller scale and generally with more direct appeal to human interest than the epic. Narrative poetry is among the oldest, and perhaps the oldest, genre of poetry. Many scholars of Homer, from Quintus Smyrnaeus forward, have concluded that his tales of the Iliad and Odyssey were composed from compilations of shorter narrative poems that related individual episodes, and which were more suitable for an evening's entertainment. Much of narrative poetry is performance poetry and has its source in an oral tradition: the Scots and English ballads, the tales of Robin Hood, of Iskandar, and various Baltic and Slavic heroic poems all were originally intended for recitation, rather than reading. In many cultures, there remains a lively tradition of the recitation of traditional tales in verse form. Some have speculated that some of the distinctive features that distinguish poetry from prose, such as metre, alliteration, and , at one time served as memory aids that allowed the bards who recited traditional tales to reconstruct them from memory. Some narrative poetry takes the form of a novel in verse. An example of this is The Ring and the Book by Robert Browning. In terms of narrative poetry, a romance is a narrative poem that tells a story of chivalry. Examples include the Romance of the Rose or Tennyson's Idylls of the King. Although these examples use medieval and Arthurian materials, romances may also tell stories from classical mythology. Shorter narrative poems are often similar in style to the short story. Sometimes, these short narratives are collected into interrelated groups, as with Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The most popular form of narrative poetry is probably the ballad. Originally intended to be sung while dancing, ballads have enjoyed a revival since the 1950s as part of the general revival of interest in folk music. The broadsheet ballad was a form of narrative poetry that took the form of the folk ballad and recast it in printed form. These often related an event of interest such as a crime, and were used to spread the news of that event. They often added moralistic, comic, or other editorial comments to the events they narrated. The broadsheet ballad is associated with England from the introduction of printing to the invention of the first newspapers. Characterization is the process of creating characters in fiction, often those who are different from and have different beliefs than the author. A writer can assume the point of view of a child, an older person, a member of the opposite gender, someone of another race or culture, or anyone who isn't like them in personality or otherwise. Thorough characterization makes characters well-rounded and complex even though
the writer may not be like the character or share his or her attitudes and beliefs. This allows for a sense of realism. For example, according to F.R. Leavis, Leo Tolstoy was the creator of some of the most complex and psychologically believable characters in fiction. Characterization can involve developing a variety of aspects of a character, such as appearance, age, gender, educational level, vocation or occupation, financial status, marital status, social status, hobbies, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ambitions, motivations, etc. According to the Shreklisch Onion Layer Model, the psychological makeup of a fully developed storybook character involves fears, emotions, back-story, issues, beliefs, practices, desires, and intentions. Often these can be shown through the actions and language of the character, rather than by telling the reader directly. In fan fiction, thorough characterization is not usually necessary since a writer is using characters already familiar to the reader. An exception is in stories set in alternative universes, which may significantly change the personalities of characters established by others, and directly revealing details may be necessary to avoid reader confusion or to warn the reader of settings he or she may not like. In essays or novels, characterization is character development, which helps to establish themes. Characterization can be presented either directly or indirectly. Direct characterization takes place when the author literally tells the audience what a character is like. In indirect characterization, the audience must deduce for themselves what the character is like through the character's thoughts, actions, speech, looks and interaction with other characters. motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior (Geen, 1995). Motivation is a temporal and dynamic state that should not be confused with personality or emotion. Motivation is having the desire and willingness to do something. A motivated person can be reaching for a long-term goal such as becoming a professional writer or a more short-term goal like learning how to spell a particular word. Personality invariably refers to more or less permanent characteristics of an individual's state of being (e.g., shy, extrovert, conscientious). As opposed to motivation, emotion refers to temporal states that do not immediately link to behavior (e.g., anger, grief, happiness). Narration is, simply put, the art of "telling back" what has been learned. Narration refers to the way that a story is told, and so belongs to the level of discourse (although in first-person narration it may be that the narrator also plays a role in the development of the story itself). The different kinds of narration are categorized by each one's primary grammatical stance: either 1) the narrator speaks from within the story and, so, uses "I" to refer to him- or herself (see first-person narration); in other words, the narrator is a character of some sort in the story itself, even if he is only a
passive observer; or 2) the narrator speaks from outside the story and never employs the "I" (see third-person narration).