Elements of a narrative essay

When you write a narrative essay, you are merely telling a story.  A narrative often involves telling a story from a defined point of view using various sensory details to invoke the reader’s feelings and keep them engaged in the story. Since a narrative essay is in the form of an account, you need to employ storytelling techniques. The elements of a narrative help to carefully explain, support, or embellish the story.

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Key Elements of a narrative essay

A good narrative essay consists of the following:

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A plot shows the actual arrangement of action and events within a story. When planning a narrative, use a scenario to lay a foundation of your account before embarking on the writing process. A plot should have a beginning, middle, and end. The plot includes background details, conflict, the peak of the story, and the conclusion. It helps organize ideas and events logically so that the reader can understand the action and follow along from the beginning to the end.  The plot of the story should not have too many twists or too many dramatic events to prevent readers from becoming bored and disinterested.


Characters are the individuals that the story is centered. When writing a narrative, introduce the characters in the story using adequate information so that the readers can visualize and relate to each one of them. The main character of a narrative usually plays a considerable role in the development of the story. All the characters in your narrative should stick to the descriptions so that your readers can find your account reasonable and believable. An excellent choice of characters grabs the attention of the reader and keeps them captivated throughout the narrative.


The theme of a narrative should be clear, concise, and consistent to highlight the main ideas of the story. A clear and focused subject enables the writer to keep the audience interested and focused on the narrative. The theme of the description should be unique, creative, and captivating enough to evoke the readers.

Point of view

In a narrative, a point of view establishes who is telling the story and their intended goal. a Point of view impacts how the reader relates or connects to the actions in the story. This and allows the reader to understand the motives behind the story and the reason it’s being told. A point of view can be used to express feelings, thoughts, and experiences of the writer.


Symbolism or analogy is an artistic writing style that involves the use of symbols to represent particular ideas. It helps writers evoke certain moods or emotions from the reader. Symbolism helps readers visualize the writer’s narrative, thoughts, and how they conceptualize it. Additionally, it creates relevance and a connection of the reader towards the story. Examples of symbolism may include: the dove is a symbol of peace, or a red rose represents love or romance.


Conflict is the challenge, mystery, or obstacles main characters need to overcome to achieve their goals. Conflict in a story creates problems for the characters by adding uncertainty as to whether they will achieve the ultimate goal or not. Having an outlined conflict allows readers to understand, relate with your characters, and feel satisfied with the narrative. When the story’s action becomes most thrilling, it’s called the climax. You need to consider the above elements to improve their skills in crafting captivating and memorable narratives.


A story is resolved when the characters in your story solve the main problem or conflict in action. The resolution occurs after the falling action and is where the story comes to an end. In the resolution, conflicts, questions, and mysteries are typically answered and explained or where loose ends are tied.




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