Guide for writing influential Narrative Essays with 6 easy to understand instructions and 5 compelling tips. Writing a narrative essay is probably one of the most fun writing exercises. This article will detail what to do in order to create an engaging and interesting narrative essay.
What Is A Narrative Essay?
A narrative essay is basically the recounting of a story. They can be told firsthand by the person who underwent the experience or as a retelling by a third party. There is usually an important event that transpires and leads to a lesson learnt.
The best narrative essays are those that are able to paint a clear and appealing picture to the audience. There must be lots of description and action so as to keep the audience interested and focused on following the storyline. These stories generally come from the imagination although some detail s may be steeped in reality. A writer may not need to do any research at all in order to write a compelling narrative essay.
Instructions (6 steps)
Steps to Writing a Narrative Essay
1. Identify The Experience
A writer will have to decide what experience they underwent or heard about that they would want to put in the narrative. He or she may draw the experience from the past or a present occurrence. The experience should in the end convey a lesson learnt or an idea. It can be a lesson learnt in childhood, a meaningful achievement, a lesson learnt through failure, the consequences of a good or bad deed, or something that led to a turning point in your life. The experience can be modified to have taken place in a different time and in a different place. Even the most mundane of experiences can be made to sound exciting if well narrated.
2. Create An Outline
As with any narrative, the writer must create a plot, characters, the setting and the climax. The writer should put down the sequence of events and use this outline to guide them when writing the actual narrative essay. It is in the fleshing out of these parts that a writer will be able to put the interesting description that will entertain readers. With the right descriptive tools in play, a reader will be able to visualize every character, setting and encounter and this is what will keep them interested and keen on getting to the end of the essay.
It is in drafting the plot that a writer should try to merge the experience they had. They will have to decide how and when it will occur within the story. They will also have to decide on the climax. This can turn out to be positive or negative. That is the wonderful thing about narratives, there is plenty of flexibility in charting out the story and the writer can get away with pretty much anything as long as the story is interesting and flows.
Try to start with a hook or intriguing incident that will stir the curiosity of the reader. Every scene that plays out should be richly described and expounded on. Unlike an academic paper, this is not about pointing out the key points. In a narrative a story must be wound and played out. The more the details the writer provides the better. Put down vivid descriptions of settings, the characters and the incidences that occur. A writer should remember that they are the eyes and ears of the reader and it only they who can communicate what is happening in each scene.
The writer should make sure they are well rested when they finally get round to writing. They should allow themselves to let loose as steady a stream of the story as possible.
4. The Introduction
At the introduction, it is a good idea to indicate the importance of the experience. When the reader learns how big a deal this was, they will be intrigued to find out more. Alternatively, the writer can begin by simply jumping into the thick of things without explanations. Taking the readers right into the heart of the experience lets them discover for themselves its importance through the narrative. Another approach is to simply retell the experience without embellishment and wait till the end to demonstrate that incident’s significance to the story.
5. The Conclusion
With the conclusion, the writer should finally pull the story together and allow the reader to understand the story’s significance and message. It does not have to be a direct explanation but it should be obvious to the reader. Leave them with something to think about and possibly apply in their own lives.
Give yourself at least an overnight break before coming back to your complete narrative essay. Go through every sentence and ensure you have used correct spelling and grammar. This second look will also give you a chance to identify parts of the narrative that may need some tweaking. Give the narrative to a friend to read through and confirm grammar and provide a critique. They may be able to identify areas you have not fully explained or have no relevance in the story. Also be sure that the narrative fits into the guidelines given by the person you are submitting it to. If the number of words has been surpassed, you will have to go back and edit till they are in the right range.
1. Take Notes
Take note of any conditions or guidelines that must be followed when making your submission. Check on the number of words limitation and the deadline for submitting the narrative essay.
2. Seek Help
If the narrative is for the purpose of submission in class, a writer should approach the teacher/lecturer/professor and find out what exactly they expect and want to see. They may even be able to refer the student to previous works that impressed them. If writing for a competition, check out the submissions of previous winners.
Do not hold back when it comes to formulating your outline. Put down as many ideas as you want to put in the narrative and then use them selectively as you get down to the actual writing. In creative writing there are no limits except those you impose on yourself. You may add to or omit the ideas you have put down just so long as the narrative remains interesting and appealing.
You can introduce conflict at any point within the story, just as long as the story flows seamlessly and sensibly.
Although the writer has lots of creative freedom to work with, language should still be carefully used. Use of slang in an essay you are presenting to a professor may not work in your favour. Take note of previous submissions to establish how far you can go in using colloquial speak. Also try to talk to the professor and find out if they have a problem with you using such language. Remember however that slang does not mean using abusive language.
As you exercise your creative muscles, remember to bring out as much detail of the setting and place. Describe the weather, dressing of the characters, smells of the food, sounds off the street and so on. The more imagery you provide the more engrossed a reader will be in the story. They will feel like they were actually there.
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