Chapter 7

Report
Chapter 7
Writing an Autobiographical
Narrative
About Autobiographical
Narrative
 Autobiographical narratives use basic
literary techniques such as dialogue,
specific language, and scene-by-scene
construction.
 Many of the events your audience will find
most interesting are those ordinary
occurrences that happen to everyone.
Writing Project
 Write a narrative about something
significant in your life, using the literary
strategies of plot, character, and setting.
Develop your story through the use of
contraries, creating tension that moves the
story forward and gives it significance.
Autobiographical Tension
 A story should have conflicts between
characters or the narrator’s feelings.
 A story must be tightly wound and all
details should contribute to the story line.
 The tension is typically resolved when the
narrator experiences a moment of
recognition, vanquishes a foe, or changes
status.
Generating Ideas--Plot
 This is the basic action of the story,
including the selection and sequencing of
scenes and events.
 Most autobiographical plots revolve
around how the author became who he or
she is.
 What you choose to include in your story
and where you choose to place it are
concerns of plot.
Generating Ideas--Character
 Characters who contribute significantly to
tension belong in your story.
 A writer typically chooses characters who
exemplify and complicate the narrator’s
fears, desires, or frustrations.
 Develop characters through description,
sensory detail, and dialogue.
Generating Ideas--Setting
 Elements of setting are selected according
to how much they help readers understand
the conflict or tension that drives the story.
 The setting typically relates thematically to
other elements of the story.
Generating Ideas--Theme
 Themes organize the other elements of the
essay, but they are rarely stated explicitly,
and are never proved with reasons and
factual evidence.
 Theme guides decisions about what events
and characters to include, what details and
dialogue to use, and what elements of
setting to describe.
Readings
 Bill Russell, from “Second Wind”
 Maureen Howard, from “Facts of Life”
 Student, “Masks”
 Chris Kordash “Making my Mark”
 Sheila Madden “Letting go of Bart”

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