Personal narrative is a style of writing that is intended to build a sense of camaraderie and solidarity between the writer and the readers.
It is meant to build a sense of trust that paints the author as a real human being that has gone through a particular set of circumstances.
These issues and events detailed in the writing are usually centered around a theme or moral that shows how the author grew personally from the experience.
Readers and even the people you have relationships with, can relate to and use as an example of how they can grow themselves.
The Style of Personal Narrative
Personal narrative is typically drawn out as casual in nature to increase feelings of that the reader is listening to a story or anecdote of a trusted friend.
This style should use a single central story line depicting the details of a prominent event in the writer’s life.
From the main story, several extensions, lessons, and check-ins to the reader should be made to show how this one particular personal instance can be used as a source of inspiration for others.
A great personal narrative should be built around a particular storyline that as many people as possible can relate to.
This format and style of writing may seem daunting at first, but it really doesn’t nor, should it have to be. All you have to do to complete a successful personal narrative is to speak from your heart.
Allow people a chance to peer into your life so that they can not only relate to you, but also develop a sense of trust that can be extended into your future non-personal narratives and prose as well.
One well written and honest account of your life can set you up for a career of successful writing by allowing all of your readers to attach an actual person to the name that goes along with your work.
The goal in any writer’s work is to build a solid relationship with themselves and their readers. With the following tips, you will be able to successfully develop a powerful personal narrative that can truly catapult your career as an author no matter what your specialty may be.
Key In on One Perfect Storyline
As a writer,and more specifically as a human being, you have plenty of possible life lessons to draw inspiration from. Just remember that you can choose any event in your life that was most impactful to you that you can then come back to add in any themes, morals, or takeaways you’d like your readers to get out of it.
Before focusing in on what you want your readers to gain from your story, first, scan your mind for that one event in your life that means so much to you that you could write a detailed recollection of with ease.
This event doesn’t have to be one of the biggest moments in your life in terms of major impact like your wedding, but it very well could be. It only has to be a particular moment in your life to which you denote a tremendous amount of significance.
This event could be as simple and seemingly as mundane as a trip to the grocery store in which you ran into a particular set of circumstances that stayed with you long after.
As long as you attach your heart to the event, as well as your mind, and believe that this impactful story of your life can positively affect others, go all in on it.
The great thing about picking a topic for a personal narrative is that you should be able to figure out exactly what you’d like to write about fairly early on in the brainstorming process.
We live in an extremely fast-paced world focused on the immediate future and current events where we’re never really asked to think about the events in our own lives that got us to this point.
Just take a break from your busy life to do some deep thought into the most impactful events in your life.
No matter how big or small they might be perceived by others is not important. You can figure out how to add in themes to add significance for your readers after you look from within.
Once you have an inventory of these personally important events, you should be able to go through them and pick out one that fills you with palpable feelings of importance. If you can’t narrow it down to just one, that is totally fine. You can always do additional personal narratives in the future.
For now, though, zone in on one particular instance and begin to think about how you’d like to explain it to others so that it can emotionally connect with as many readers as possible.
First Comes Conflict Then Comes Resolution
No matter which event in your life that you choose to write about, it should include the following structured format to allow your readers to get the very most out of your experience.
Begin the theme by detailing the timeline of the event you have chosen from beginning to end. The skeleton of the prose should work to allow your readers to know as much as possible about the event as to paint a picture in their minds strong enough that they can picture the story perfectly.
Leave no details left unturned. Like any great narrative, it should include a beginning,middle, and end.
It must begin with a thorough introduction that sets the stage for the reader. It should then begin to rise with a centralized conflict that you have personally grown from and helped you to grow as a person.
This conflict should reach a potent climax to which you detail exactly how challenging it was for you. It should show your vulnerability in great lengths. Thankfully, it is always darkest before the dawn, so after you reach your most vulnerable state,you should begin your efforts on explaining what you personally did to allow yourself to overcome this hardship.
The resolution not only will work to put a bow on your personal story on how you were able to grow from it, but it will also work to allow your readers to gain a sense of solidarity that will allow them to feel and relate to your story on a personal level.
Themes, Morals, and Takeaways
Once you have the body of your narrative down, then it’s time to sprinkle in the themes, morals,and substance that can serve as universal takeaways for those that cannot directly relate to your bare bones recounting of your story itself.
For example,your retelling of a past event in your life could be as simple as forcing yourself on a roller coaster for the first time to prove to yourself that you could do it.
There will be some readers that will be able to relate directly to this instance. To reach others further, you can include a centralized theme of conquering one’s fears and begin to peel back the veil of fear itself.
While not everyone will be able to relate to fear from an amusement ride, everyone certainly has innate fears and insecurities.
By using the story of your own personal fear and the steps you took to combat them, it opens the door to your readers to be able to dissect their own fears and reflect back upon the steps that they took to overcome their own mental hardships.
Key Takeaways from Personal Narrative
A personal narrative is one of the most efficient forms of writing that you can implement in order to gain trust, solidarity, and credibility with your readers and even the people important to you.
Everyone in this world wants only to be heard. By divulging a piece of your personal life,you are giving people a chance to look within themselves and relate to you on a personal level.
In a personal narrative, you are looking to not only highlight yourself, but to shine a light on the problems, insecurities, fears, and happiness that we all feel as a people.
Personal narratives can seem daunting at first, but once you look within yourself and key on a moment in your life that has shaped you into the person you are, you are inviting others to do the same. You should not be afraid or discouraged to write about yourself because it makes you more human and relatable to all of your readers.
Begin each effort of writing a personal narrative with your own story. If your accounts of the event in your life that you have chosen to detail do not reach everyone right away, that is perfectly fine as it is not supposed to.
The complete encapsulation of the human experience can then be drawn upon from the themes and morals that you tie in with your story. With more and more writings from the heart, it will make it clearer that we are all in this together.
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