Personal narrative
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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

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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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