A narrative essay describes a person, situation, incident or issue, using a ‘personal’ story as its central premise. It is told from the point of view of the narrator, and may be either written in the first-person or the third-person. It does not use any external references or viewpoints, and is the result of the personal reflection of the author.
A good narrative essay must be structured keeping in mind the following key points:
The topic for a narrative essay should not be too broad and open-ended. A specific incident to serve as a hook for the story ensures that the reader is kept engaged. Take care to remember that the narrative should not drift too much for the reader’s comfort.
The central premise of the essay should be penned down before you start writing it. The author should keep monitoring that he does not deviate too far from the message he wants to convey. The key takeaways from the story need to be kept in mind to ensure consistency in the narrative.
The characters and settings should be imaginative, with colorful descriptions of the incidents in the plot. The language should encourage the reader to form his own thoughts on the characters and situations in vivid details. Use of metaphors, florid words and vibrant imagery will create a profound impact on the reader’s mind and keep him interested.
The entire narrative should be written with reference to a single viewpoint – either the first-person or the third-person. Any jumbling of viewpoints will lead to confusion for the readers and difficulty in grasping the flow of the story.
While writing a narrative essay, it is important to remember that a reader does not know any details of the story. Any incident/context that is missed out unintentionally by the writer might lead to a complete loss of comprehension to the reader. It is critical to ensure that the essay is laid out such that a reader with no understanding of the background can also easily follow the course of the narrative.
The story should continue to build up the hopes and expectations of the reader, and end with a strong flourish. A good conclusion sums up the fundamental ideas of the narrative and brings out its essence in a creditable way. An excellent narration is worth a lot for the seasoned eye.
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