Personal Narrative Essays Page 2


 What did this conflict communicate to you about yourself, family, and/or society; how
might you communicate this learning to your audience?
Background and Setting: Developing the Context of Time and Place
Consider the following questions as you develop the setting of your narrative.
 What is the event you want to share?
 Where did this event take place?
 When did this event occur?
 How do the details of time and place develop the context your readers need to understand
the meaning of the story?
 What initial expectations or mentality do these details help viewers to establish that will
be changed, developed, or affirmed as your story progresses?
Plot: Analyzing Cause and Effect
Consider the following questions as you develop the plot of your narrative.
 What important events led to this event?
 What action happened immediately before the event?
 What action happened after the event?
 What changed as a result of the event?
 How has this event impacted you directly or indirectly?
Characters: Recognizing the Human Dimension of Your Story
Consider the following questions as you develop the characters in your narrative.
 Who was involved in this event?
 What is the relationship between you and these other individuals?
 Why are these individuals significant to your narrative?
 How might their views present a source of conflict in the narrative?
 Who is static in the story, and who is dynamic? That is, who does not change, and who
does change?
 Because humans are not one-dimensional, how might you offer multiple perspectives as a
basis for why characters chose the action they did?
 Did this story involve a dialogue of points of view among or between characters?
Climax: Isolating the Central Meaning
Consider the following questions as you develop the climax of your narrative.
 At what point in your story did your understanding of your conflict change?
 What meaning is revealed in the moment of truth—or the moment of revelation or
Personal Narrative Essays, Spring 2015.
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