Your professor has finally given you an interesting assignment a narrative essay. It seems like there is no trouble in choosing any interesting personal story and writing it down. After all, you are telling stories every day. Didn`t you tell your friend the funny accident that happened on your last family trip? So why cant you create an outstanding narrative essay?
Let me walk you through the motions of crafting a great story.
Your Essay Is a Scene, Not a Movie
Think about your favorite movie. If you try to retell the plot to a friend, it will take you several minutes and lots of hand-waving. There is a good chance your friend won`t really understand what happened since you will need to cut many important details out. Now try retelling a single important scene. This is much easier, all the necessary details will be in place, and your story will be much shorter.
Apply this principle when choosing the episode to describe in your narrative essay. Tell about your day at the beach or your hiking adventure instead of retelling the whole senior year at high school.
Hook Your Readers From the Start
Let`s be honest with each other: our attention span is non-existent. That`s why you need to make every sentence matter, especially within your first paragraph. Shock your readers, befuddle them, ask questions. There is nothing worse for a story than a boring, cliche opening.
A good hook can take on a form of a quote, a question, personal anecdote, a shocking statement, or even statistics. Choose the one that fits your story best. Here are a couple of good examples:
Women are supposed to live longer than men, that was the first thing my grandfather told me after grandma`s wake.
Summer is the worst time of the year. When will the school start again so that I can escape the hell my home has become?
Stay Focused on Your Point
There is a certain idea behind every book, movie, poem. Your narrative essay should walk the readers through the experience you had and subtly lead them towards the conclusion you made. To achieve this smooth logical transition, always keep your point in mind and assess every part of the story critically. Ruthlessly get rid of any characters, situations, and words that are redundant, that do not help the story evolve.
Just like in any other essay, you should state your thesis within the first paragraph and then subtly repeat it in your conclusion, phrasing it differently. Elaborate on the lessons you got from the story that you wish to share with your readers.
Tell Your Story Like a Pro
Consider the most important points of your story: the people, their words, and behavior. Try to describe them in vivid detail. No one needs to know eye color of your friend and their height, but some personal details and quirks can be important, like a habit to bite their nails when nervous. The same is true for the setting of your story. Your readers wont be interested in the dimensions of the room, but a Star Wars poster above the fireplace may give them a pretty good idea about the owner of the house.
To make your story even more realistic, intersperse the visual descriptions with sounds, smells, and feelings. Consider these two fragments to understand the difference in the setting:
On that hot day, I was sunbathing on a beautiful white beach.
The white sand was silky soft under my skin, tickling gently. The air was humid and hot, filled with the unmistakable salty notes you can only smell near the ocean.
Don`t Forget About the Technicalities
Here are some tips to use if you want your narrative essay to be perfect:
- The narrative essay is your story, so it should be written for the first person. Make sure your narration is consistent, do not skip from the first person to the third. The latter is acceptable if you are retelling a story that happened to someone else.
- Past tense is preferable in most cases. Keep this in mind and do not intersperse your past tenses with the present. Such errors will disturb the flow of your story.
- If you decide to use dialog, brush up on the right formatting. Remember to use the quotation marks, commas, paragraphs.
- Revise your essay before submitting it. Do not limit yourself to proofreading, be your worst critic, asking tough questions about the main story points, its consistency and important details that are missing.
I hope these tricks will help you write your next narrative essay like a pro. But if you are not sure about your storytelling skills, you can always let SpeedyPaper specialists do the work for you. Your perfect narration essay is a couple of clicks away.