How to Write a Narrative Essay: Where to Find Inspiration


When looking for a muse or brainstorming for creative ideas, artists often look to music, diaries, sketch books, places and people for inspiration. The same can be said when searching for the inspiration for writing a narrative essay. When you set out to write a narrative essay, you want to share a unique personal tale about yourself. By looking to personal accounts, favorite places and important people in your life—you can unveil a great topic for your next narrative essay.

  • Personal Items
  • Although tangible items do not determine who we are, they can aid when looking for inspiration for a narrative essay. Your prized trinket, traveling souvenir, high school diary or even your favorite jacket, can be inspiration for a story. Why is it your favorite? How did you obtain the object? Why is it important to you? This can get the creative juices flowing, and result in a story about the object—or even lead to a different story all together.

  • Favorite Places
  • In addition to the items we own, the places we like to frequent can also provide inspiration for a narrative essay. Think about the places you’ve been. The cities, countries, vacations, restaurants, houses, apartments, bridges, streets, sunsets—where was your favorite? Did you fall in love in one of these locations? Was your heart broken? Did you laugh the hardest you ever had? All of these moments and accounts would make for very captivating narrative topics and subjects. Think about the moments you cherish, and generate inspiration for your narrative essay.

  • Important People
  • We may cherish things and places, but foremost we cherish people. The people of your life are the content of your narrative essays. Who you surround yourself with is part of who you are, and you can share something revealing about yourself by telling the narratives of relationships, friends, families, strangers and any other human interactions of importance you can recall. Think about the times you have shared with these people, and draw encouragement for your writing.

The things we choose to keep, the places we love to go and the people we surround ourselves with are part of who we are. By sharing a narrative account inspired by one of these factors of your life, you will reveal a unique part of yourself. Share something fascinating and unexpected for your reader. Take them on a journey through your own history.