A strong piece of narrative writing begins by engaging the reader in the story and orienting them with key information about the characters, setting, and situation. The Common Core State Writing Standards highlight the importance of this concept, as Standards W.3.3.A, W.4.3.A, W.5.3.A, W.6.3.A, W.7.3.A, and W.8.3.A emphasize the significance of effectively engaging and orienting readers of narratives. In this chapter, we’ll discuss the following: what “engaging and orienting the reader” means; why this concept is important for effective narrative writing; a description of a lesson on this concept; and key recommendations for helping your students engage and orient readers of their own narrative writings. Along the way, we’ll examine how published authors engage and orient readers to their narratives, and explore what makes those authors’ works especially effective.