Once you get your driver license in Germany at the age of 18, your Mum might tell you from the date before leaving by car “Fahre nie schneller, als dein Schutzengel fliegen kann.” It is a German saying and it means that you should never drive faster than your guardian angel can ever fly. I remember that I always answered “Yes, yes- nothing will ever happen to me, Mum. Calm down”, closed the door and left for going somewhere. You will never even try to change your behavior or think about it until something happens that might change you as a person and your way of thinking for the rest of your life.
One day, my brother, named Philipp, and I were invited for a birthday party at Caroline´s house, a friend of both of us. Philipp is my older brother, exactly four years older than I am. He means the world to me and he is on the one hand my brother and on the other hand my best friend at the same time, he has always been the one who protects me besides my boyfriend and the one who I trust most. There were a lot of people at Caroline´s house and it was pretty crowded. Whenever I had some space I was dancing with my friends and singing our favorites songs.
Everybody was laughing a lot and I felt being home among my closest friends. We had a good time there, Philipp and I decided to go around 4 am in the night. Most of the people left already and as usual we were the last ones. I was supposed to drive back home, so I didn´t drink alcohol at all. The streets had been flooded with water, what made it even more difficult to drive and keep paying attention. On the way back home we were laughing and talking a lot in the car, as well as listening to music. I was just very happy and loved to drive very fast while listening to my favorite Beatles´ song “While my guitar gently weeps”. After a while, I approached the last crossroads before home.
The best part of the song played and I turned my head to the right and looked at my brother´s face for one second. He started laughing, singing like crazy and turned up the volume. I felt the happiness flowing through my blood vessels and enjoyed the good side of life. Suddenly as I turned my head back for watching the road, I just saw a car on our side of the road in front of ours with its huge lights on. Accordingly I acted in the heat of the moment and turned to the left side of the road to avoid any collision.
I heard Philipp screaming my name while the car was slipping from the one side to the other and I tried to stop it on the left side of the road. A few seconds later the music was still playing, I succeeded in stopping the car with squeaky tires. Drenched in tears and sweaty palms, I looked at my brother´s face, he looked at me, gave me a hug and then he said “Sophie, we are still alive, thank you! I love you, little sister!” I have been still shocked and wasn´t able to say anything at this moment. I was just very happy to lie in my brother´s arms and feeling save. As soon we got home I didn´t stop hugging my parents.
From now on I am always afraid of driving when it is rainy and the roads might be slippery and more dangerous for passing over. This experience might have changed in some way my character and the way I am behaving in different situations. I am more thankful for life and appreciate more the good times and good days in life because it seems that it can be the last one from one second to the other. Life can change in split seconds without being in charge of it. I believe in destiny and maybe it just wasn´t our time to go because we were definitely too young. At the latest now I know how valuable life is. Even though it wasn´t my fault, I would definitely feel guilty if we got injured. I couldn´t keep on living, knowing I hurt my brother seriously, or even worse, killed him. Could you? I could not.
Writing an engaging personal narrative essay requires you to focus on both the key points of information to be conveyed as well as the many details which make the narrative essay interesting.
Writing an Impactful Personal Narrative Essay
A personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, so it is usually written in the first person. To maximize its impact, the essay should:
- Be written to have an emotional impact on the reader
- Include a lot of references to sensory perceptions and emotions
- Use vivid details and imagery
Structure of the Essay
- The opening of the essay needs to let the reader know the essence of what you will be describing and your point of view.
- The body of the story needs to give the reader a very clear idea of what happened and how you (the author) feel about that. The story can be told chronologically or the facts may be grouped by importance or type.
- The final paragraph needs to wrap up and state the point of the story, whether it is a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience.
Writing the Essay
Writing a good narrative essay requires you to include interesting information in an engaging way. Here are some tips:
- Record yourself telling the story. That will help your organize your story and make the writing flow.
- Include anecdotes and dialogue in the essay.
- Use transitory words to connect sentences like: therefore, however, or for example.
- Vary the structure of your sentences to make the writing more interesting. Try adding some compound, complex, or interrogative sentences.
- Make the words lively, descriptive, exciting, active, emotional, and precise.
Example of Narrative Writing
Here is an example of writing used in a personal narrative essay. Notice the tone and words that set the mood. You can almost feel the heat and humidity.
“It was the middle of springtime and across from my house where the incident took place. There was a lake there in which my brother and I loved to explore from time to time. The humidity and water drops where reminiscent of a fully functional sauna. The onslaught of heat and burning glow of the sun was relentless.”
Types of Essays
An essay is a short piece of writing which is either analytical or speculative. Most essays are written from the author’s point of view.
The word “essay” began to be used in 1588 when Michel de Montaigne published a book called Essais and the word represents a short work written on a particular subject.
There are many kinds of essays, and following is a short explanation of a few of them.
Persuasive or Argumentative Essay
The persuasive or argumentative essay picks a certain viewpoint and offers support of it with data, statistics, and other evidence. Its purpose is to make the reader agree with the proofs and conclusions. In other words, the reader should share the viewpoint of the writer.
Persuasive essays need to have logical and clear reasoning supported by facts and arguments.
A comparison essay will compare two things and point out their similarities and differences. The writer needs to find as many similarities and differences as possible so he will need to do some research.
It does not matter in what order the facts are presented, as long as they are easy to understand by the reader.
Descriptive essays answer the questions: how, what, why, when, and where. They can be written about any subject; a place, person, animal, event, thing, or memory. The writer will share with the reader what he feels and perceives.
The tone should be sensory in nature so the reader can almost see, smell, taste, hear, and feel what the author experienced.
A narrative essay tells a story that has a point to be made. The reader may receive an idea or a lesson from the essay. The story is told using sensory details and emotional language.
A narrative essay usually reflects something of a personal nature so many times it becomes a personal narrative essay.