I just recently took a test and I encountered a question regarding literary modes and perspectives. From what I believe, I still placed the correct answer, but I also saw one option that said something along the lines of "descriptive thought" as the mode, and evidently first person as the perspective. My question is, how do I differentiate between narrative and introspection as the overall writing mode? What does an entirely "introspective" writing piece look like? Is it even a writing mode?

1 Answer 1


Introspection will generally involve the character thinking to themselves, often about themselves. This can occur in both third-person and first-person, and it looks something like this:

I wondered why I was so angry. The cat had eaten my dinner before, but this time it felt different. It was like a personal attack on me, and I was tired of it.

General narrative, on the other hand, usually involves action or description, rather than inner thoughts. For example:

I picked up the empty plate and threw it at the wall. The gravy dripped down the wallpaper, and I switched on the stove to cook another meal.

Hopefully you can see how these are different. The first one leans inward, while the second one pulls outward. They're both modes of writing, and when used wisely, they can both contribute towards a powerful piece of literature.

  • Thanks! Do you think that there are any other notable modes of writing that I should know?
    – Biscuit
    Sep 9, 2020 at 20:31
  • Hi Biscuit, if this answers the question you asked, you should upvote it, and potentially mark it as accepted. If you have follow-up questions, i.e. "What are the notable modes of writing," please post those separately (It works against the SE model to have multiple follow-up questions in a single post). Also, you'll get more rep that way anyway! :) Sep 9, 2020 at 21:15

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