Get Acquainted With Narrative Style
Have you ever heard about different writing styles? I’m sure you did, at least vaguely. But what about essay writing in particular? Believe it or do not, but there are really quite a lot of different types of essays. And each of them has its own special peculiarities, just like formulas and theorems in physics and mathematics, but literary; with their special goals and shapes, and tricks and writing hooks. By the way, general essay types and their main features are briefly described here. If you are getting frightened by any references of limits and formats, if you are a freedom-lover who got a lot of stories and thoughts, and want to share your experiences in your own inimitable manner – narrative essays will fit you like nothing else.
So what is narrative essay and what’s better to do and do not in papers of such type – you can read in the following writing guide.
Narrative Essay Outline
So, how does it feel like to write a narrative essay? You may feel uncomfortable and shy and writing about yourself may seem quite a challenge for the first time – that’s definitely okay. In any case many students face some difficulties when writing essays, so any feeling of discomfort is quite natural. Let’s have a look at the features of narrative essays to calm down. Very often when writing a narrative essay means that you have an opportunity to choose the topic on which you will write. It is very important to choose the good one, so you will have enough things to say. By the way, some essay hacks and ideas in choosing a topic you can read here.
The most beautiful thing about narrative essays is that you can write almost everything you want. It is clear there’s no place for swearing and cursing someone you don’t really like (but if you have such an unusual talent for veiled disapproval – you are welcomed to try). Literally, I say so because you are writing about yourself. Concerning that fact, narrative essays aren’t alike 90% of all other educational papers. The thing is that it’s like telling a story, so there are no very specific outlines or schemes of writing (what one can’t say while speaking about argumentative or persuasive essays). It is useful to remember that use of the past tenses is prevailing over the rest.
How to come up with ideas for narrative essay
It can be either pretty chaotic and disordered or well thought out and planned to the details piece. Everything depends only on your essay ideas. Use your creative thinking and imagination at full power. Feel free to write about your memories, experiences, adventures and misadventures. But always remember to spread the information thoughtfully and comfortable for the perception of the reader. For example, you can start your introduction with some memories which will harmoniously lead to the main part and develop your story. Also, you can use dialogues in narrative essays, so bear it in mind. Speaking about the use of tenses the important point here is prevailing use of the past, but different variants are possible.
Don’t be afraid to seem awfully, or even, let us say, terribly subjective – you’re telling like it is and giving the reader an opportunity to look at something with your eyes. Don’t think about the things like: “Well, I’m just a student with boring life and anybody won’t be interested in reading about it”. Write so that you yourself were interested in reading it. You are writing about yourself, so be true and honest with yourself.
The Subtleties of the Writing Process
Let’s say that after doubts and hesitation your topic is already chosen and you are full of anticipation and excitement and, of course, the desire not to screw everything up. Believe me, you won’t do it. If you are interested in your writing process you will be a success anyway, anyhow. So cheer up, find your writing inspiration and create! It’s not that difficult as it may seem for the first quarter of an hour.
If it’s more convenient for you to have a plan – sketch up the main points which you want to cover up in your essay. Of course it’s quite better to have the main idea of your future essay preserved in your imagination. Also, you can create a draft of your narrative essay and then edit it until it will feel good enough for you. I’ve got used doing it since primary school so I know how it works.
If the use of vivid expressions and descriptions is typical of you – use them, as much as you can, but naturally within reason. Try to explain things from unexpected points of view so they would seem interesting and unusual. For instance, you can describe the door of your room as a magical portal to your personal Narnia or maybe your cat is kind of fantastic creature whose superpowers are hyper-meow and razor-sharp claws. Don’t be afraid of anyone’s judgement, this is a relatively free creative field and it belongs to you. I’ve already said, but I’ll repeat once again: remember that you have an opportunity to speak from your heart, with great subjectivity which is not allowed in any other college paper as much as in narrative essays. Incidentally, this phrase of mine looks quite like a sentence from narrative.
Usually these essays are written in first person, so wide use of “I” statements is very common. If you find it difficult to write only about yourself – think over main characters of your narrative essay. In such case, make a brief outline of these characters and note what their peculiar properties are. For example, create a couple of warring personages (or, scientifically speaking – protagonist and antagonist) or show a bromance of two inseparable friends which complement each other perfectly. Of course, the good guys and the bad guys are the essence of the daily life, but let me remind that the greatest narrative essays are still the “I”-ones. Actually, do whatever you want but don’t forget to tell a story.
Nearing Narrative Essay Conclusion
So far seems like we are closer to the end. Well, accept my congratulations; the greatest part of work is already left behind. Feels a lot like victory… But here’s a small surprise for you: most of the writers face with so-called pre-final silence. That strange feeling of “nothing left to say” after a great flow of thoughts and ideas which were flushing in your mind during the writing process. And so you are sitting there with few empty cups of coffee or tea and looking through your essay and trying to get what you’ve missed or wanted to add. Of course there is something lying on the surface waiting for your attentive eyes.
You may be sure that there is no need in essay editing but anyway pay attention to re-check of your essay to feel completely calm. Check the orthography and grammar mistakes, if you are not sure if you’ve found all the mistakes – use free online editors or ask to help some friend of yours. Repetition is the mother of learning same as Daenerys is the mother of dragons, bear in mind. So repeat and check everything for several times before printing or sending your narrative essay to your professor.
Seems like I’ve written quite too much words in here lately, but I hope some of them were really helpful for you. So what on earth should I write more? To summarize, let’s have a look at the main features of narrative essays one more time:
- vast variety of topics to discuss;
- prevailing use of the past tenses;
- wide use of first person and “I”-statements;
- stylistic diversity;
- no strict essay form in general (without considering the classical outline “intro – main body – conclusion”);
- use of dialogues;
- an opportunity to share your own memories, stories and points of view and write about yourself in general.
Well, it may be not the full list of what we’ve discovered up above but at least I’ve tried to cover up the main peculiarities which were mentioned previously. If you want to find out some more facts and ideas about narrative essays – just surf through the web and I’m sure you’ll come over some more info.
The taste of finish
Let’s return to our essay. The only one thing which we haven’t discussed yet is the conclusion of narrative essay. So just for one moment imagine that you’ve finishing your narrative essay. Maybe you’ve really finished it already, but just imagine. How it feels like? I think it’s exciting. And it really is. It’s like watching at the painting, the creation of which took hours and hours, and now here is it, just in front of you. So after surfing through the stream of imagination and memories, what can you say or add to sum up your story? After all, each story has its conclusion and teaching. Tell what are yours.
The typical prompt or assignment for the narrative essay will ask you to describe an event that affected or changed your life. In other words, in the narrative essay prompt, you are being asked to tell a story. Because of the basic structure of this assignment, students are often fooled into thinking that the stories that take place in a narrative essay have to be true, which often becomes a source of anxiety. "How can I write about myself in a way that will interest my professor?" you might find yourself asking. "After all, nothing interesting has happened to me. And even if something interesting has happened to me, I'm not sure I want my prof. to know about it."
The best way to address this concern and start writing a narrative essay is to forget about telling "the truth" or "the facts" of a story unless you already think those truths and facts are interesting. Along with telling a story, after all, you're also being asked in the narrative essay to write vivid descriptions of persons and events. What if you don't remember what one of your characters was wearing or looked like or smelled like on that fateful day when you decided to skip school, or become a young Republican, or sneak out of the house to party with the very boyfriend/girlfriend you broke up with a week later? The answer to this question is that it simply doesn't matter whether your descriptions or events are "true to life." You are, after all, telling a story, and stories - even autobiographical ones - are embellished with made up details, characters, and events all the time.
Usually, by the time you reach the point in class where you're asked to write a narrative essay you will have already been exposed to at least one well-know narrative essay writer, such as Amy Tan or Henry David Thoreau. There are numerous others, but the important thing to keep in mind about all of them is that they are not necessarily writing the truth, at least not the objective truth. The reason these writers are taught in literature classes is that they have vivid imaginations, which is just another way of saying that they are good at making things up. They usually have a purpose as well - whether to defend nature (in the case of Thoreau) or to paint a sympathetic picture of first and second-generation Asian American immigrant experience (as in the case of Amy Tan) - and this purpose if often the very point of the narrative essay. The purpose (or thesis) of the narrative essay, then, should be your first concern.
Once you know the point you want to prove, you just need to provide supporting details, whether real or imaginary, that make that point stand out. If these details are believable and related to your narrative essay's purpose, it simply doesn't matter whether they actually happened. English class isn't a court of law, after all, it's a chance for you to extend your command of the English language. As long as that's happening, you can feel secure in almost any story you decide to write.
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