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Personal Narrative. Tips and Techniques. FOCUS. Narrative effect is the main story, moral, or message offered. Ask, “Why am I telling this story?” or “Why should someone be interested in my experience?” Will the point be EXPLICIT or IMPLICIT?. DEVELOPMENT.

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personal narrative

Personal Narrative

Tips and Techniques

focus
FOCUS
  • Narrative effect is the main story, moral, or message offered.
  • Ask, “Why am I telling this story?” or “Why should someone be interested in my experience?”
  • Will the point be EXPLICIT or IMPLICIT?
development
DEVELOPMENT
  • Details add depth and color to the story.
  • Scene method – very detailed, evocative description to immerse the reader in the situation.
  • Use SCENE method for one or two key areas of the story.
  • Summary method used to fill in the rest of the story with a brief synopsis.
organization and coherence
ORGANIZATION AND COHERENCE
  • Three basic parts – orientation, complication, and time structure.
  • Orientation establishes setting, characters, & other essential elements.
  • Complication involves rising conflict that leads to the climax – point of highest action.
  • Resolution conflict resolved and narrative effect is revealed or suggested.
o c cont d
O & C cont’d
  • Time Structure – chronological or psychological.
  • Chronological – events described in order.
  • Psychological – events described according to connections between them…for example a memory.
  • Flashback and flash forward (show possible outcomes)
style
STYLE
  • Style engages the reader.
  • Details should give a dominant impression of event – fear, anxiety, confidence, guilt, surprise, etc.
  • Language – use CONCRETE NOUNS and ACTIVE VERBS – unload forms of BE and passive voice.
  • Sensory language – taste, smell, sight, touch, hear the scene.
style cont d
STYLE cont’d
  • Metaphors and similes help reveal the narrative effect
  • He was tall versus He was as tall as a mountain.
  • She was beautiful versus She was a fresh flower among the dried up weeds.
point of view
Point of View
  • Generally use first person (I, me, my, we, us, our), but third person can work.
  • Objective view leaves out the author’s feelings.
  • Subjective view emphasizes the author’s feelings toward a subject.
  • Use both!
artistic license
ARTISTIC LICENSE
  • Beware the exaggeration for effect! Gone awry, exaggeration will damage credibility.
  • Personal narrative is an academic essay, not fiction!
  • Adapted from Tacoma Community College Writing Center.
what s my job
What’s My Job?
  • Bring in a COMPLETE personal narrative draft on Thursday, September 5.
  • No more than 500 words.
  • Double spaced, typed.
  • Be prepared to share your draft in class.
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