It raises anticipation. Will we reach the top? And what will we see from there? The sequence of scenes matches roughly the unfolding of real events, but there is suspense to pull us along, represented by questions we want answered. Narrative essays keep us engaged because we want answers to such questions. The tension begs for resolution. We keep on reading unless the writer stops stair-stepping upward toward the critical moment when change becomes necessary.
If she flatlines on an emotional plateau, not raising the tension, then we are likely to lose interest and walk away. One interesting side note: trauma, which is a common source for personal essays, can easily cause an author to get stuck on the sort of plateau Kittredge described. Jo Ann Beard, while clearly wrestling with the immobilizing impact of her own trauma, found a way to keep the reader moving both forward and upward, until the rising tension reached its inevitable climax: the graduate student firing his gun.
I have seen less-experienced writers who, by contrast, seem almost to jog in place emotionally, clutching at a kind of post-traumatic scar tissue. Instead, they meander around their subject until arriving, often to the side of what was expected. It also allows for a wider variety of perspectives—illuminating the subject from multiple angles. My own theory is that most personal essayists, because of a natural ability to extrapolate, do not struggle to find subjects to write about.
While a fiction writer may need to invent from scratch, adding and adding, the essayist usually needs to do the opposite, deleting and deleting. As a result, nonfiction creativity is best demonstrated by what has been left out. The essay is a figure locked in a too-large-lump of personal experience, and the good essayist chisels away all unnecessary material.
She limits that essay to a single evening walk in London, ostensibly taken to buy a pencil. I suspect Woolf gave herself permission to combine incidents from several walks in London, but no matter. Although the work is unified by the frame of a single evening stroll, it can also be seen as a combination of many individual framed moments. If we remove the purpose of the journey—to find a pencil—the essay falls neatly into a set of discrete scenes with related reveries: a daydreaming lady witnessed through a window, a dwarfish woman trying on shoes, an imagined gathering of royalty on the other side of a palace wall, and eventually the arguing of a married couple in the shop where Woolf finally gets her pencil.
All that remains to unify the parts is an almost imperceptible thread of theme, not narrative. These moments have a broad similarity as a result; however, without their attached labels, we would not be able to connect the parts in a fully satisfying manner.
The titles allow us to string together a kind of thematic necklace. Our attention to thematic unity brings up one more important dynamic in most personal essays. Not only do we have a horizontal movement through time, but there is also a vertical descent into meaning. As a result, essayists will often pause the forward motion to dip into a thematic well.
Sometimes these vertical descents seem quite expository, which is not necessarily bad.
In fact, I once heard the nonfiction writer Adam Hochschild scold a group of MFA students for being so subtle in their writing that they left out critical signposts that readers needed. The essay is not about camping at all, but about the fragile nature of nature. In fact, Berry uses several of these loops of reflective commentary, and though they seem to be digressions, temporarily pulling the reader away from the forward flow of the plot, they develop an essential second layer to the essay. So far we have looked at narrative, reflective, and segmented essays, but we have not exhausted our structural possibilities.
Far from it. Many essays, for instance, are braided, weaving together two or more strands of story line in an interactive fashion. To help the reader with transitions, she brackets the home movie with white space, putting the text into italics.
What is a Personal Essay? « Find Your Creative Muse
We look at the italicized home movie for a while, then her memories, then the movie, and so on, letting one strand surface while the other is momentarily submerged. However, like the lyric poem, the lyric essay is devoted more to image than idea, more to mood than concept. It is there to be experienced, not simply thought about.
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And like many poems, it accomplishes this effect by layering images without regard to narrative order. A lyric essay is a series of waves on the shore, cresting one after the other.
It is one impression after another, unified by tone. And it seems to move in its own peculiar direction, neither vertical nor horizontal. More slant.
What is a Personal Essay?
Want an example? The sky hunkers down, presses, like a lover, against the land. Small sounds. A far sheep, faint barking. We begin to encounter the piece on a visceral level that is more intuitive than rational. Like a poem, in prose. Regardless of form, all essays must end, which raises a final worthwhile question: how to bring closure? First of all, endings are related to beginnings. Of course, the effect of returning to her initial image, transforming it into a symbol, is a sense of completion.
So the best conclusions open up a bit at the end, suggesting the presence of the future. The ending both closes and opens at the same time. All diagrams rendered by Claire Bascom. Don't worry if your first results will not be good enough. The more you try, the better you become. These are the most common types of essays that are widespread in academic life. Each of them requires certain skills and talents.
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An essay is aimed to show your personal opinion about the subject. It should also contain a message to convey, and it is to have a purpose. You have to consider different points of view and write your essay with the sense of full understanding of the topic. They are: descriptive essay definition essay compare and contrast essay cause and effect essay narrative essay process essay argumentative essay critical essay expository essay persuasive essay These are just patterns that you have to fill with certain information and viewpoints.
Descriptive Essay This type of essay is designed for describing details of the subject. Calculate your price. Type of paper Essay.
Types of Essays
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