Even before exposure to literacy instruction, many facets of language develop during the preschool period that bridge spoken and written language skills. Research suggests a productive way to measure linguistic development in early childhood is through oral narrative elicitation. Narrative production is a complex task that integrates cognitive, linguistic, and social components. Investigating oral narratives provides information regarding the type of language structures the child has acquired and can recruit in discourse. Narratives are also one of the first instances of decontextualized language in which children talk about non-present events. As children are exposed to narrative structure in children's storybooks and participate in conversations with literate adults, they begin to internalize the linguistic structure of literate, or written language, helping to prepare them for reading and writing. Studies have shown that decontextualized language is related to literacy acquisition during the early school years. The present study identified a developmental trajectory of narrative production skills during the preschool period. Oral narratives were collected from 54 preschool children (ages 3 years 0 months to 5 years 11 months) from monolingual English speaking families. All narratives were transcribed in CHILDES format, and analyzed for use of literate language features, linguistic structure, and thematic coherence. The broad question of this study was: how do literate language and narrative structure develop in early childhood? Results indicated a shift in narrative capacities during the preschool period. The three-year-old group performed consistently below the older groups, suggesting developmental gains in linguistic and cognitive capacities during this time. By the end of the preschool period, children are able to utilize more complex linguistic structures in their narratives, as well as produce more thematically-oriented stories. The current findings suggest a pattern of preliterate narrative development that may provide a basis for identifying certain language deficiencies linked to later literacy achievement.