6 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Narrative Essay

Wondering how can you write the best narrative essay? Apart from setting scene and character development, there are more things you need to get right for writing a perfect one.

That being said, this interesting blog post focuses on common mistakes a writer makes when writing a narrative essay. Let’s analyze those shortcomings in detail below.

Common Mistakes A Writer Needs to Avoid While Writing a Narrative Essay

Lack of Clear Structure

Weak Introduction: Steer clear of those tired old sayings and sweeping generalizations. Hook your reader from the get-go with something interesting or gripping.

Incoherent Flow: Make sure your transitions between paragraphs and thoughts flow nicely, creating a story that all fits together.

Ignoring Character Development

Underdeveloped Characters: Your characters should have lots of different sides to them. Try to make sure that you show their different qualities, feelings and what drives them to do the things they do.

Lack of Dialogue: Chatting can really bring your characters to life and make the story pop. It’s a great way to show who they are and progress the plot.

Neglecting Descriptive Elements

Sparse Description: Get the reader to really feel what’s happening by painting a detailed picture of the surroundings, emotions, and actions.

Overloading with Details: Don’t go overboard with too many details that could end up confusing the reader. Pick out the most important bits to make the story really stand out.

Forgetting the Theme or Message

Unclear Purpose: Make sure what you’re writing has a point or a moral to it. You should have a lesson or something valuable that the reader can learn from the story.

Inconsistent Theme: Keep your eye on the main idea throughout the story. Don’t go off on any unrelated detours.

Weak Conclusion

Abrupt Endings: Wrapping up the essay, give a brief overview of the main ideas or tie the story up with a resolution.

No Reflection: Include a reflection or insight gained from the experience narrated. It helps in reinforcing the significance of the story.

Grammatical and Structural Errors

Spelling and Grammar Mistakes: Check your essay for mistakes. Make sure you have the right punctuation, that all your verbs are in the same tense, and that your sentences are structured properly.

Run-on Sentences or Fragments: Make sure your sentences aren’t too long or broken up. Keep it balanced so it’s easy to read.

Examples to Understand the Common Mistakes in Narrative Essay

Let’s create a scenario of a narrative essay that exhibits some of these common mistakes:

Example 1:

Title: “The Adventure”

I’m a huge fan of the outdoors. Last summer, I went on a camping trip and it was an amazing experience that really changed my life.

We got to the campsite and it was gorgeous. We got our tents all setup and then took a hike. It was a pretty lengthy walk and we were worn out afterwards. We caught a glimpse of some wildlife which was pretty cool.

All of a sudden, the memory of my grandpa’s tale flashed into my head. It got me reflecting on existence. We cooked up some grub and cozied up near the blaze. It felt real nice. Afterward, we hit the sack.

I got up the following day and it was a beautiful day. We got all our stuff together and hit the road. That’s all folks!

Mistakes Highlighted

Weak Introduction: Rather than beginning with an interesting opening line, the essay kicks off with a pretty generic statement about how much I love the great outdoors.

Incoherent Flow: There doesn’t seem to be any kind of order to the story; it goes from camping to hiking all of a sudden, without any smooth changes.

Underdeveloped Characters: The people in the story (including the storyteller) aren’t all that interesting. There’s no details or feelings shared about any of them.

Sparse Description: There’s not much detail about the campsite, the hike, or the whole experience, so it’s tough for the reader to really imagine what it’s like.

Lack of Theme or Message: The narrator mentions some story their grandpa told, but they don’t really discuss what the story meant or what it was trying to say.

Abrupt Conclusion: The essay stops suddenly without thinking back on what happened or giving any deep understanding.

Example no. 2:

Title: “A Day at the Park”

I went to the park last weekend. It was nice.

I spotted some ducks in the pond and they were adorable! After that, I had a blast on the swings and then I had a delicious sandwich.

As I headed out, I was reflecting on how beneficial parks can be for people. They’re really calming. Parks are definitely something to treasure.

Mistakes Highlighted:

Weak Introduction: The essay jumps right in without wasting any time to draw the reader in or set the mood.

Lack of Descriptive Elements: There’s not much detail about the park, how it looks or feels, so it’s hard for the reader to get a mental picture.

Underdeveloped Reflection: The last part of the piece barely touches on how important parks are without going into much depth or providing any meaningful understanding of the experience.

Sparse Character Development: It doesn’t look like the narrator has a lot of emotional depth to them or much to offer in terms of meaningful insight, they just skim the surface and don’t weave it into anything bigger.

Example no.3:

Title: “The Adventure in the Woods”

I decided to go into the woods. It was okay.

I went for a walk and saw some tall trees. Then, I heard a noise which I think was an animal. It kinda scared me, so I decided to turn back.

As I was on my way back, I couldn’t help but consider how important it is to protect nature. It’s such a gift.

Mistakes Highlighted:

Weak Introduction: The essay jumps right in with an unexpected choice without giving any backstory or anything to spark the reader’s curiosity.

Lack of Descriptive Detail: Not giving much info on the woods, the surroundings, or what it’s like doesn’t give you a good idea of what it’s like.

Underdeveloped Conflict or Resolution: Not providing a lot of detail about the woods, the environment, or the experience doesn’t give you a clear image.

Superficial Reflection: In the end, it just quickly mentions how important nature is, but doesn’t give any personal experiences or thoughts.

Expert Tips for Avoiding these Mistakes

Crafting a Strong Introduction

Start with a Hook: Start off strong by grabbing your reader’s attention right away. Draw them in with something captivating, a thought-provoking query, or a fascinating detail.

Set the Scene: Give readers a glimpse of the world they’re about to explore. Who are the characters, where are they, and what kind of trouble are they in? Let them know what’s at stake and why they should keep reading.

Structuring the Narrative

Outline Your Story: Figure out what needs to happen in your story and make a plan of the order it should go in before you start writing. This will help you keep the storytelling going smoothly.

Use Transitions: Using words or phrases to link one thought to the next is a great way to make sure your ideas, events, and paragraphs flow together seamlessly.

Developing Characters and Descriptions

Character Depth: Give your characters depth by including details about their traits, feelings, goals, and struggles. Show what’s happening instead of just telling it.

Vivid Descriptions: Make sure to use vivid language to really draw the reader in and give them a sense of the setting, feelings, and events. Include as many details as possible to create an immersive experience.

Conveying a Theme or Message

Identify the Purpose: Figure out what main idea or point you’re trying to get across in the story.

Show Reflection: Think back on what you went through and figure out what you learned from it, emphasizing how important the story is.

Crafting a Strong Conclusion

Summarize and Reflect: To sum it up, the main points of the narrative are clear. We can see the impact that the experience had, and what we can learn from it. To bring things to a close, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve taken away from this and how it can help us in the future.

Leave an Impression: Make sure the ending sticks with the reader by emphasizing the moral or point of the story.

Review and Revision Process

Multiple Drafts: Try writing multiple versions of your story to really get it honed in. Revising it will help make it more interesting and give it a better flow.

Seek Feedback: Send your essay to some friends, teachers, or writing groups for different ideas and feedback that can help you improve it.

Continuous Improvement

Read Widely: Check out different kinds of stories and types of writing to broaden your way of telling tales.

Practice Writing: Regularly practice crafting narratives, and experimenting with different styles, structures, and themes to enhance your storytelling skills.

Take Away

Crafting an interesting narrative essay requires a blend of good storytelling and a good structure. If you can steer clear of these usual mistakes, you can make your story really stand out and have a lasting impression on the reader.

Explore More

Related Blogs

24 hr support
24/7 Support

Connections with Writers and support

safe service
Safe Service

Privacy and Confidentiality Guarantee


Average Quality Score