8 Personal Narrative Examples To Inspire Your Writing

As the word “narrate” in the narrative suggests, it is a style of writing that is usually story based. The writer here is sharing their personal experience. Narrative writing allows you to be as creative and personal as you wish with the reader.

To give you a perspective, in this blog post, we are discussing 8 personal narrative stories you can use to get inspired before writing your first or next fiction narrative piece.

The first on the list is:

“Why I Hate Mother’s Day” by Anne Lamott

In this narrative, Lamott explained that motherhood does not make or complete a woman. Raising a child does not equate to being called a mother. She explains her opinion by saying that many people help raise a child, like fathers, friends of mothers, teachers, friends of a child, and many other people the child will meet. She also points out that the idea behind its celebration makes women feel they can’t make mistakes.

The piece might lack the scene-setting or traditional elements of a story. Still, it gives a great understanding of how one can narrate their opinion on a personal topic in a fashion that many can connect with.

Only Disconnect” by Gary Shteyngart

Published in The New York Book Review in 2010, the narrative essay is as close to our new age dilemma as Shteyngart tried narrating. He described how the extensive use of technology pushes humans away from what is surrounding them.

Published in The New York Book Review in 2010, the narrative essay is as close to our new age dilemma as Shteyngart tried narrating. He described how the extensive use of technology pushes humans away from what is surrounding them.

“The Trash Heap Has Spoken” by Carmen Maria Machado

In a brilliant narrative writing style, Machado points out how television shows, movies, and cartoons have formed the cultural narrative around skinny and slim heroines. Somehow, making fat women a taboo or only fitting for a villain or dark role. She explains her discomfort as she hits puberty and her physical figure changes.

Her narration style is a good example of taking inspiration from fictional characters even when you are not writing fiction. Taking an imaginative approach, she explains how the common social narratives can be influenced and hopefully changed for the better.

“Am I Disabled?” by Joanne Limburg

While filling out a bureaucratic form, the writer Limburg tried penning the thoughts that ran through her mind about disability. In a struggle to define her autism as a disability or hide it from appearing normal and being accepted by people, she explores that even normal is figurative speech.

The close one can come to if they tick the non-disabled checkmark on a form is of a person whose economic productivity defines their worth. Her essay is a good example of hermit crab writing, where she uses a form to craft her narrative.

“Living Like Weasels” by Annie Dillard

Fiction writing is understood to be the most creative, but Dillard’s description of her thought process of seeing a weasel’s necessity to hold on to its prey as the freedom from suffering helps look at non fiction writing from a new perspective.

Drawing a comparison with the human ability to choose, she elaborates that humans might consider holding onto stuff and things a folly, but the weasel’s life depends on it. She amuses the reader with the possibility of finding one necessity that makes you willing to shed your skin, bone, and shell.

“Love in Our Seventies” by Ellery Akers

As a poet, Akers beautifully and vividly described her experience of finding love at age 75. Though she uses a very romantic tone, her writing is far from being defined as sentimental. She skillfully weaved emotions in words as she explained her counter and the daily routines with her lover.

Her narrative writing style adds more creativity to a piece of just 400 words. Too short of a word count to narrate an effective story around, but Akers has shown that writing your personal story in your style is possible. If you love poetry, you might take inspiration from her writing style.

“What a Black Woman Wishes Her Adoptive White Parents Knew” by Mariama Lockington

In a unique style of framing her story through vignettes that act as a turning point to form a narrative that defines the play of race in a family, the writer Lockington has beautifully penned her mixed emotion about her upbringing. Her parents adopted her, a black child, when black child adoption was not a trend. But their negligence of her race made her feel like an outsider in her family.

Lockington’s style of non fiction writing is an easy tool to use while framing your narrative, as you can pour out your thoughts and words by letting yourself indulge in a memory or a photo frame.

“Siri Tells A Joke” by Debra Gwartney

Gwartney recalls the memory of her late husband, who has authored twenty books on nonfiction and fiction writing. Recollecting the events that have aggravated her life one after the other as a punchline in a joke played by Siri – an application on her iPhone – reminded her.

This essay is a good example of connecting two opposite emotions and finding a sad relation to a line intended to make you laugh. Narrating a sad story with a joke, the writer displayed her skills and kept the readers engaged as she explained the context of the punchline in the joke.

Concluding Words

The examples above demonstrate that narrating your opinion or story need not follow strict guidelines and structure. You can write it any way you see fit as long as you convey your message effectively.

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