• Home
  • Blog
  • How to Start a Narrative Essay?

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

Narrative essay is one of the assignments where you’re given a chance to speak about you. Your assignment, your story, your moment in life, your lessons learned.

Many students err on the side of letting things slide when it comes to doing a narrative essay. Many think it’s too easy to handle seriously. Indeed, how difficult it can be depicting a certain event in life, describing a person or telling a story from childhood.

However, complacency with a narrative piece leads to poor marks. Would you like to do better? Then read this article and learn how to start a narrative essay in a proper fashion. Dropping the hammer too heavily isn’t obligatory, although some excellent job has to be done still.

Line an avalanche begins with a snowball, a consistent essay starts with an introduction.

To-do list to help you start off your narrative draft

Always get the right topic for your narrative. First and foremost, a topic has to fit in the prompt. You can choose to describe how you used to hang your with a biker crew when you were twelve, but such a story has to fit in the prompt. Otherwise, even the greatest topic and a story delivered won’t fit and bring you any good grades.

In addition, note that a good narrative essay delivers a story rich in detail, fascinating characters, even with an antagonist, maybe, at least one plot twist and a thought-provoking ending. Right now, all that’s important is meditating on such story and thinking through its ins and outs. With this in mind, an outline will help. Always draw up a writing plan before managing activities to achieve results.

Finally, any story conveys a strong message, in your case – a lesson learned. How did your character change? How did you change the worldview of other person? How did the encounter make you a more intelligent person? Even if you haven’t learned any lessons at all, make sure the instructor knows the opposite. Now, let’s revise the list of action items to do prior to writing a narrative essay:

  • Meditate on a good topic for your story
  • Make sure it fits into teacher’s prompt
  • Think of stylistic devices to develop a content-rich and detailed plot
  • Think of what lessons you’ve learned from the story
  • Keep it personal and vivid

Introduction – cliffhanger is your best friend

Based on previous experience doing all kinds of essays, you must’ve already learned an introduction is a passage either attracting reader’s attention or the opposite. All the cliffhangers you can think of are to be embedded in the introduction. Thus, the very first hook goes in your opening sentence. It can either be a quote, joke, pun, unexpected detail or a metaphor, short dialogues or a monologue, etc.  

Getting under reader’s skin is key. Of course, a teacher still has to evaluate your essay reading it till the end despite of how boring it can be, but a paper done with class will score higher than a plain text a teacher checks without any sign of interest.

It goes without saying, starting a narrative in a compelling manner is important. After a killer hooking line goes either describing main story characters or depicting the scenery, or both – all depends on the kind of story you’re telling. Don’t forget to use vivid details and verbs of action to convey typed words on a piece of paper into emotions and feelings in the reader’s imagination.    

Finally, an introduction should feature a smooth bridge to the next part of an essay – it’s Body. Seamless hook which softly takes the reader by the hand from an introduction to essay’s main part  -  this is what you should aim at.

Now, check out some of the tried-and-true ways to start a narrative essay. Maybe they’ll help you break through the writer’s block and come up with your own idea.

8 awesome ways to start an essay

  • Use a quote from a literary piece or someone else’s words to make a powerful statement
  • Tell something funny because humor sets the right mood and wins over reader’s heart
  • If you want to keep the tone of your essay serious, start off a narrative with a strong question
  • Come up with something shocking – a statement, information, fact, some part of your story you’ll get back to later on in the body
  • In case your old teacher doesn’t appreciate shocking as a stylistic device, opt for just an interesting fact to pick curiosity
  • Give some data, statistics, figures
  • Provide a short dialogue between the main characters to add some edge to a story
  • Start with the story’s end, which in all cases has to be emotional and breath-taking, then tell the reader how it all ended up like this

Being a quite easy essay task, a narrative essay can give you hard times if tackled in a slipshod manner. Be diligent in how you treat written homework no matter how easy it seems, follow best practices and you will deal with assignments not only faster but better too. Best of luck!