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The Basics of Writing Narrative Essays

Essay is defined as “short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative”. And, to “narrate” is to “relate or recount events, experiences, etc., in speech or writing”. Narrative essay can be termed as “to recount events as a short literary composition” meaning to “recount in analytic or interpretive prose and event or experience. A rare term “expository writing” springs up every where narrative essay is searched for. A derivative from “exposition” means an informative, descriptive or instructive writing. Narrative essay is essentially that. An informative, descriptive or instructive composition on a particular theme or subject in prose recounting events or experience.

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Narrative essay is usually written from a particular point of view, usually the author’s. Third party narrative in a narrative essay is also not uncommon. The technique is to structure the narrative essay with all the peripherals woven together as in real life to present a full life picture to the readers. As generally narrative essay resides on a particular event as central plot as that of a story, all the conventional factors of storytelling like characters, settings, climax and an ending etc. will add color and keep readers attention. Also, the central theme is used for the opening line and for closing the essay also.

The essence of a narrative essay is to give the reader a sense of being a part of the event or experience being narrated. A good narrative essay will provide the reader with the sensory perception of being in the same time and space of the narrative. A great narrative essay even will make the reader empathize with the author. The ability to narrate in vivid prose and that too of past experiences or events require creativity and imagination. There can be also a “moral of the story” conveyed through a good narrative essay.

The main ingredients for a narrative essay are a remarkable event, a good track leading up to it, a clear reason for narrating the event the outcome and a lesson learned or a realization. The narrative essay structure is also important for the reader to maintain the interest. The narrative essay if peppered with some interesting or humorous side events and related anecdotes, will hold the readers interest to the end. The introduction of the central theme in the opening paragraph should not be elaborate which should be done at the closure along with the significance of the event.

The technique to writing a good narrative essay is to write as it comes out or as if you are orally narrating it to a friend or relative. Let the word flow as it comes. Structuring it to suit a particular style can be done later. Numerous rewrites and editing might be needed but the first and foremost is to the get the event on to paper or now days to your digital notebook. Record the central theme and the significance first. Then while editing you can do all the cosmetic work and necessary peppering to make it interesting.

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