Narrative essays: how to write a good narrative

Narrative essays

A narrative essay is an essay that tells an imaginative or true-life story.

An imagined tale is a fictitious story that the writer creates out of his imagination.


Characteristics of a narrative essay


In a narrative essay, events are arranged chronologically, that is, in the order in which they happened.


The plot (the storyline) serves as the framework tor the story.


The actions in a narrative essay consist of a succession of steps, each presenting a minor obstacle or problem.

There is usually a climax, which is the highest point of interest in the essay.

The conclusion follows the climax.


Some topics for narrative writing includes.


The happiest day of my life

A day I will never forget

The wedding ceremony I attended

My journey to the United States

An accident I witnessed

The new yam festival in my town



Guidelines for writing a personal narrative


Pre-writing: Here, you should list events chronologically, that is in the order in which they ocurred.


Maintain a first-person point of view using the pronoun I if it is a personal narrative or he, she or it if it is a third-person limited or omniscient point of view.

Enliven your narrative with specific facts

and details. Use language concrete nouns, vivid verbs and precise adjectives to help readers share your excitement, sorrow or anger.


Build a conclusion that expresses your thoughts and feelings about your experience and tell what it means to you.


Elements of a narrative

Study the elements that make up a narrative. It will guide you in writing your own essay.




The plot is the story’s action and events. Most plots focus on a problem faced by the main character.



Character The characters of a story are the people or animals involved in the plot.



The setting is the time and place in which the events or a story happen. The setting can create a mood or atmosphere.


Point of view


The point of view is the particular vantage point from which the story is told. It could be a first person or third-person point of view.


Point of view in narrative

First-person narrative

Here, the writer tells the story from his/her own point of view using the first-person pronouns, I and me. This point of view allows readers to know the narrator better and share his/her feelings


Third-person limited narrative


A third-person limited narrative tells the story

from one character’s point of view. Through this person, the reader learns more about other characters.

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