Tips for Drafting an Essay ( The Narrative/Descriptive Essay)
1. Begin brainstorming, clustering, and/or free writing to help you find or narrow a topic.
2. I actually like a free writing because I like to see words on a page. This is the actual beginning of a draft. Use free writing to help you figure out how much you have to say about your topic. Feel free to take parts of the free writing and elaborate on parts of your story.
a. Example: if you are writing a physical story (racing in a car, riding a bike, flying in a plane, championship game of football your senior year), take one part of the action and free write on just that part to build in strong descriptive details.
b. If you are writing an emotional story (marriage, graduation, divorce, death of a loved one, birth, an important decision, etc.) the pace of the story will have to be considered. The actions are the event s that lead up to the climax of the story. The climax may come earlier to make room for the outcome of the story. Consider which part is more important. “Salvation” is an emotional story. Hughes’s climax is very simple “So I got up”(75 Readings). He decided at that moment to stop waiting on Jesus and lie to the church people.
2. You can do all of this on separate sheets of paper or on the computer. The key is to not become overwhelmed. You can start on any part of your essay. You do not have to start at the beginning of the story. Try starting with the part that meant the most to you or near the climax of the story.
Draft Two: Revising Process
3. Once you have several parts of the story, figure out where things will go in the story. You will have to decide the order. Do you want the story to start in:
a. Chronological order- from beginning to end in the order it happened?
b. Or should you start telling the story close to the climax and then take your reader back to a beginning from there to build suspense (think of movies like “Limitless” or “Swordfish.” Both start close to