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A Narrative Essay Guide: How to Write a Really Good One?

Writing a narrative essay is so much fun. In general, when your teacher asks you to compose one, it means that he/she is expecting to see an original literary story from you. So you can let your imagination run free. In most cases, narrative essays are about you, your life, and your personal experience. Like any other story this one has a plot, a set of characters, and a central conflict. At the same time, narrative essays are usually connected with the topics you discuss in class so you will have to approach your writing attentively. Let’s discuss some important tips and techniques that will help you compose a winning paper of that kind.

What is a narrative essay?

Narrating means telling a story. As you know, stories must be interesting and engaging rather than 100% accurate (if you know what we mean). To put it simply, everything can become a story if you know how to retell the events in a really juicy way. Even if you decide to tell everyone about the day when you have learnt to do up your shoelaces, this might become a story.

What is a purpose of a narrative essay?

The main aim of a narrative essay writer is to share his/her personal view on the story. You are required to tell a story just the way you see it revealing your thoughts and feelings. In some cases, the narration might be persuasive, especially if you are going to argue on some topic or event that bothers and interests you a lot. Sometimes, the tone of your essay can remind a description. But don’t forget that the elements of your personal reflection are necessary in both cases. And what is even more important – there has to be a point in your writing. Remember when someone was telling you a story and you were waiting to hear the point for so long? He was just telling and you were just waiting, being assured that the point is about to come… but it never did. This should never happen to your readers when they have your essay in front of their eyes. Making a clear point is crucial.

How to write a narrative essay?

  • Step 1: Choose a topic

Be accurate when choosing a topic of your essay. Think about two main elements of your paper: a narration itself and an analysis of that narration. A story from your own experience should serve as an illustration of a certain idea or point and this will make it really engaging and meaningful. Remember that this type of writing aims to test your creative skills rather than analytical, therefore, you will hardly need any background research.

  • Step 2: Make an outline

Just like any other text, a narrative essay should have an introduction, body, and ending. Think about the development of the plot. Where does it start? How does it move? Where does it end? It doesn’t mean that you have to compose a formal outline like you usually do for your research papers. Make sure that you just write all major points of the paper down to keep them in mind. This will help you stay focused.

  • Step 3: Characters, conflict, setting

Who are the characters of the story besides yourself? What can you tell about the people who took part in the event? Just make sure that you describe people in a way that gives readers a hint about their character. There is no need to describe characters’ appearance in detail, listing all traits like the color of their hair, eyes, and growth. These details don’t describe a character in any way. Instead, writing that your friend was always wearing Hawaiian shirts is much more interesting.

Next, move to the story conflict. The easiest way to arrange a conflict is to have a protagonist and an antagonist. The protagonist is the main actor of the story and he usually has some problems, conditions, or other forces he is trying to deal with. In a word, he has an aim and some obstacles on his way to that aim. While an antagonist is the main obstacle he faces, which creates a conflict. In most narrative essays you will be telling a story from a protagonists’ perspective. However, you can also be an antagonist.

And finally, the setting. Describe the location of the story telling about every important detail you can remember about it.

  • Step 4: Scenes + analysis

These are two types of writing you should include in your story. When writing a scene, you traditionally slow the narration down and describe a certain moment in detail. Analyses are the parts of the text that appear between the scenes.

  • Step 5: Dialogues

Narrative essays typically include dialogues, so you should know how to format them correctly. When your character speaks aloud, you need to place his words in the quotation marks like this: “My name is Peter,” he said. A speech of another character should be written from a new paragraph.As you can see, narrative essay writing is a perfect practice. First, it improves your creative skills. Second, it gives you a chance to have real fun while writing about something that is really personal and engaging. Just make your creative juices flow and have fun with your stories!