There’s nothing wrong with inventing a person’s words if you can’t remember them exactly, but you shouldn’t say they said something they weren’t even close to saying.
Another big difference between narrative essays and creative fiction—as well as other kinds of essays—is that narrative essays are based on motifs.
One of the best ways to learn how to write a narrative essay is to look at a great narrative essay sample.
Let’s take a look at some truly stellar narrative essay examples and dive into what exactly makes them work so well. I imagine credentials to be a small white card in the band of a fedora. My real interest in credentials is getting into rides and shows for free.
Today is Press Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, and I’m supposed to be at the fairgrounds by A. I’m fresh in from the East Coast, for an East Coast magazine.
Why exactly they’re interested in the Illinois State Fair remains unclear to me.
Like the stories you're used to reading, a narrative essay is generally (but not always) chronological, following a clear throughline from beginning to end.
Even if the story jumps around in time, all the details will come back to one specific theme, demonstrated through your choice in motifs.
But unlike a simple work of creative fiction, your narrative essay must have a clear and concrete motif—a recurring theme or idea that you’ll explore throughout.
Narrative essays are less rigid, more creative in expression, and therefore pretty different from most other essays you’ll be writing.