How to Come up with Narrative Story IdeasJune 28, 2017

A narrative story and a narrative essay are one and the same, but it will be different from your usual assignment essay. Yes, there will be a beginning, middle, and end. But you won't present an argument (and provide supporting information). This one won't be different from fiction, where you would relate a series of events. A conflict will arise along the way, yet there will be a resolution in the end. This should be the ideal template for such narrative, but creativity doesn't follow rules.

It's important to follow the standard format, even if you're bound to pursue authorship. There are several benefits: You won't get confused (while you compose the draft of your essay); there's a higher chance that you'll achieve clarity (after you're done with the draft); you'll likely finish it in a short time; this format requires you to change a few things; and you won't have trouble thinking of topics. The last one will suggest that you don't have to beat yourself up. Authors will write things they only know, so personal experience will be your source. This shouldn't be the time to be coy about your feelings, even censor thoughts that may offend your instructor. You haven't started yet, so there shouldn't be any reason to sweat over the small stuff.

Perspective will color your experience, even if you share it with others. This is the main reason why a narrative story is an interesting, if not reflective, excursion into your so-called past life. Let's be clear about something: You don't need to be a show-off. You're about to share a part of yourself, hoping that your readers will understand you better. (It will be your teacher, who will mark your essay.) Three things can be gained from such an exercise: You'll learn to express yourself better; you'll learn to relate your experience with the surroundings (or the people whom you know or hardly know at all), and you'll be aware of the power of words on the others. The last one separates the author from the rest, who draw on their choice of words to describe the extent (or extremity) of their feelings. It also reveals their views amidst a particular period. You don't need to go further into that territory, though.

Your narrative story must cite a particular happening, show whatever conflict will arise from it, and a resolution.

Things to Remember When Generating Ideas for Your Narrative Story

Kenneth Roberts would inspire you, as the novelist's experience during the French and Indian War served as a backdrop for a young man to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming an artist. As a matter of fact, he didn't tell it from the woman whom he would settle down with. Could there be a shortcut to it? Roberts was fortunate to encounter Robert Rogers, a dreamer seeking his place in the untamed part of North America. You don't have to be carried away by it, though. In fact, you should be grounded about your expectations. Your first camping experience would be good enough. You could consider your moments with your friends. The most memorable Thanksgiving should be an interesting topic.

Let's get into details:

Your subject matter is not really important, as how you articulate it should count the most. In other words, a happy or sad experience won't make any difference. You must pay attention to details, such as the time of the day. (It was a gray, rainy afternoon. It prompted you to look out from the window and think about many things.) A particular object, which would have sentimental value, could be a good starting point. (You wouldn't let anyone touch your Lego toys, and for one good reason.) It would be the people you know. (You wish Christmas Eve would be a Groundhog Day.)

It's about time to tell the story behind it. The rainfall would remind you of your last holiday, where you got lost during a trek through the woods. It made you recall your favorite fairy tales while you tried your darn best to find your way back. It turned that it happened several kilometers from where your family was staying, but it was a big deal back then. (And you were right to feel that way.) It's very important to narrow down your feelings to one or two, which you could elaborate further. Your readers must be able to empathize your journey, if not understand what you're going through. (It may be your instructor, but this won't be a test on erudition.)

There are many ways to end it, but there's only one. You should impart the lessons that you learned from it. You can also describe how such an experience will make you a better person. If you feel like it's worse, then explain it. (You can take a page from Jenny Han: It's Not Summer Without You; The Summer I Turned Pretty; We'll Always Have Summer.)

Read Between the Lines

You're not about to write a bestseller, so don't try too hard to pen a narrative story. You shouldn't hold yourself back (while you compose the draft), as you don't want to end up with a dull paper on your hands.

You can share your ideas (or experience) with your family and friends, as you'll sort of rehearse it (before writing it down). Besides, the reaction of the people you know well can be counted in your paper.

You'll get afraid of sharing your experience, even get overwhelmed by the challenges that it can present to you. It's not like you'll be punished for committing a misdeed, even push you to the wall. Tell your story, and make sure that your readers will understand you.

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