Show, Not Tell, for Narrative Essays

We all adore stories. When we share interesting stories in the most interesting ways, we appear interesting, too. The most basic thing to do when telling stories is narrating. That is all we need to do to deliver a story, and all we need to know to write a narrative essay.

Stories, when written, become narrative essays. They follow a plot, setting, cast of characters, climax and of course, an ending. Narrative essays are interesting primarily because they are stories and because they are filled with vivid descriptions. These details and descriptions are useful since they support the whole story itself, from embellishing it to relating it to the main point.

The narrative essay is characterized by the following conventions:

Point of view – Narrative essays usually use the “I” perspective, relating the experience and story of the author to the readers. The writer can also use “he” or “she.”

Details – There must be many descriptions in narrative essays so they must follow the rule “show, not tell.” Simply telling the story does not work, and can be a potential bore to the readers. The details include action verbs, creative adjectives, and character descriptions.

Dialogue – Delivering a story is not just relating to the readers what circumstances the characters go through. The best narrative essays use dialogue to make the essay sound more alive and real.

Once all these are present in a narrative, we must not forget that readers are also part of the story. We can get them involved and do our best effort to make the narrative something that can entertain them or something that can keep them reading until the last word of the last sentence. We should write narratives in such a way that we are talking to our readers. Although the story in a narrative exists, we must not underestimate what details and descriptions can do to develop the story. Without these factors, the readers may not want to finish reading the narrative essay.