Narrative Essay: Telling your Story
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Narrative Essay: Telling your StorySimply a StoryOral stories (what we did over the last weekend)Can come from your experiences, imagination, or a combination of both.Personal Narrativetell a true story from experience, an event in which you actually participated. (Embellishments are excepted to make your story more interesting. But remember dont embellish so much that the story becomes unbelievable.)Your Story should make a lasting impression or evoke a strong emotional response because it will be the one that is most interesting to your audience. 2Guidelines for a Personal NarrativeTell about a meaningful incident.Relate TRUE events in a clear order.Use vivid details to re-create people, places, and events.Use first-person point of view in which you are the narrator (teller of the story).Suggest or explain the importance of your experience (This is called theme of your story).Develop a plot (a series of related events to develop a story)Include one or more characters, usually people or animals.Use dialogue (quoting the exact words of your characters).Have more than one paragraphIdentify an ExperienceAn event that was a turning point in your lifeA first time experienceThe best or worst, funniest or saddest experience youve hadAn experience that taught you something about yourself, other people, or life in generalA conflict that was ultimately resolved
Important Vocabulary for Narrative WritingPoint of View-the vantage point from which a story is toldIn a personal narrative you are the narrator as well as the main character. The story is from your point of view. So you will use first person pronouns: I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours.NEVER, NEVER, NEVER use second person point of view (you, yours) to tell a personal narrative. (Exception: using quotation marks)Important Vocabulary for Narrative WritingYou can use pronouns like she, he, it, him, them, but because your story is 1st person, you cannot tell what other people in your story are thinking unless they tell you in the story!!! You can ONLY know what you, yourself think.FormA personal narrative does not have a standard introduction with a thesis sentence, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It does, however follow chronological ordera way of organizing events according to when they occurred, from the first action in an incident to the last. Beginning, Middle, EndAll Narratives must have a beginning, middle, and end!Important Vocabulary for Narrative WritingAudience: This means the people with whom you share your story. You may be willing to reveal more or less about yourself to an audience you know well than to a more general audience.Tone: This is your attitude toward the experience and audience. If you focus on your feelings about your experience, the tone will be personal. If you focus on the event itself, it will be less personal. Developing Your Personal NarrativeBeginning:Many Good Stories begin by telling the setting. This may be the time and place where the story happens.The setting frames the action of your story.It should develop the mood (atmosphere) of your narrative. For example, a weathered, ragged, isolated house creates a mood of sadness.If it is relevant, tell what the weather is like. It also sets the mood.Perhaps the setting itself presents a problem.Sensory details can make the setting come alive. These include what you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.Developing Your Personal NarrativeBeginningMany stores start with a character (person or animal, usually, who performs the actions of the story. Because your narrative will be short, you will not have time to develop many characters, so concentrate on one main character or possibly two.What are the main personality traits of the character?What does the character in your narrative want and what obstacles does he face?You may describe the character directlyfor example, he is nervous or She is determined.You may describe the character through his/her words and actions. For example, you dont have to tell us a man is nervous if you show his pacing up and down or avoiding eye contact. His behavior proves it. You are revealing personality traits through his/her actions, behavior, and words. You can reveal physical appearance (how the character looks, talks, and dresses) through vivid, specific language that helps the reader visualize details of features, clothing, etc. Only include those details essential to the plot; for example, if the height and weight are not relevant, dont use them.The characters should have real qualities. Few people are all good or all bad. We all have weaknesses and redeeming qualities.Avoid stereotypestrite, one-sided, predictable characters.
Developing Your Personal NarrativeDialogue is important in developing a good narrative.Decide what kind of language (standard or substandard) your characters will use. Will he speak in the dialect of the South?Be careful that you do not fill your story with dialogue that is vague, empty, and meaningless.In the sport personal narrative you will be writing, use dialogue to make a story come to life. Do NOT overuse it. Be sure to punctuate your dialogue correctly and begin a new line for each change of speaker.Middle of the storyDevelop the action with a problem or conflict.Center story on the conflict. When you hear this word, you probably think of war, argument, or other negative situation. Actually, conflict is not always bad. Conflict is the heart of a narrative. Your main character might struggle with an internal conflict (such as a struggle within himself over some issue) as well as an external conflict (a struggle outside himself).Develop your main character here by showing his/her actions, thought, and words. Remember not to try to develop too many characters.Use figurative language and other literary devices to make the story come alive for your audience. Ending of StoryCommunicate the theme of your story here. It is the insight into human life that you as the narrator will convey through the story. It is also you conclusion.