How to Write a Narrative about Another Person (3-Paragraphs)
In a previous article, I wrote, "my main objective is to help people understand that writing a narrative is very important for the individual writer and for the audience who reads the writer's narratives. Writing a narrative allows each individual to explore his or her own inner self and come to a self- realization or epiphany about his/her life. It is my believe that the narrative allows each individual writer to re-live a fragment of his/her past life or past beliefs, which results in a responsible acceptance of that past so that one can move forward with higher character, higher self-esteem, and higher knowledge." Having stressed this point, I would love for my readers to understand that the above belief does not only apply to writing about your own self. The above statement also applies to writing about someone you know. Writing about someone you know allows the writer to share the lessons learned from that other person; it allows the writer to preserve a very important memory of that person; it allows the writer to show other readers the importance of preserving the memories of loved ones and the people who touch our lives. Finally, it allows the writer to share with the readers that one person can absolutely play a major role in shaping our own individual lives and beliefs.
As I mentioned in a previous article, "The first step is to find your own time and personal space. Allow all worries from your day, your past, your future to be set aside. One way to allow this to be possible is to take about ten minutes and meditate. Simply breathe in and breathe out, and relax. Allow this breathing to tranquilize all racing thoughts and help you focus on the now, the present moment. When you breathe in and out, try to picture yourself in a place where you find nothing but peace of mind." While breathing in and out, try to picture that one person who you are writing about. Picture all the positive things this person taught to you and passed on to you, and then write-write what you know about this person, so that he/she can live forever in memory. In step 2-4, follow the format of writing about this person in three paragraphs. In each step, I also provide an example of each paragraph. The three sample paragraphs are all one story. In step 5-6, I provide one more student sample of a three body paragraph narration that follows the format in step 2-4.
I. Introduction: First paragraph
a. Have a clear topic sentence that states who the inspiring person of your story is and include an adjective that best describes why this person is inspiring to you.
b. In about 5-6 sentences tell what your main point is. In short, tell the reader why this person is inspiring and how this person has inspired you to make a change for the better.
c. In about one sentence tell about one incident that this person went through that proved he or she was inspiring.
Sample of introduction: The lower case letters are to show my reader how all the ingredents from the format piece togther in the actual paragraphs,
(a)My Grandfather is the most inspiring person in my life because he is determined to never lose his culture. (b)I was born in America and my parents were born in America, but my grandfather was born in China. Since I was born in America, I have been raised with American values, which mostly means freedom of choice and that freedom of choice has never really allowed me to experience my own traditional culture. I have no accent, I did not speak Chinese, and I really knew nothing about my Chinese heritage. Heck my family and I usually eat hot dogs and hamburgers. However, my grandfather has always maintained his sense of being Chinese, and through him, I was able to understand that I am Chinese American. I am proud of both. (c) My grandfather came to America as a result of the Japanese invasion in China, and my grandfather lived to tell me his story, which has allowed me to know where I come from.
II. Body paragraph: Second paragraph
a. In about 8-10 sentences, tell the story about this inspiring person. Keep in mind that this life story should only be a fragment or fragments of a time that demonstrated how this person was inspiring to you. (DO NOT TELL EVERY DETAIL, SUCH AS BIRTH TO OLD AGE). Try to pick one element, such as a struggle that this individual went through and overcame.
b. In about one or two sentences tell how this person's event or episode ended.
Sample of Body Paragraph:
(a)My grandfather always gave me dirty looks or spoke to me coldly, and I never understood why. One day I asked him why, and that is when he sat down to tell me his story. My grandfather was born in China to a family of farmers. Life for him and his parents were simple. They worked the land and provided for small villages and towns, and that was their life. His mother was a traditional Chinese woman who took care of the men, and his father was a hard working farmer. His mother taught my grandfather about foods, clothing, domestic values, etc, while his father taught him about the value of hard work and the history of his people. However, one day a storm came and destroyed the land, and his family lost everything, after months of poverty, the Japanese invasion occurred. My grandfather lost both of his parents in the war, and at the age of 18, he came to America. In America, my grandfather lived in San Francisco, where he adapted to the English language, he became a Christian, and he settled for any type of work that he could find. Throughout these hardships of adapting, one can easily lose their culture, especially if a culture is not number one on the list; however, my grandfather married a beautiful and good Chinese girl, and they worked hard, started a family, opened up a successful Chinese restaurant and raised my parents in America. My grandfather and his wife raised my parents to speak Chinese and English, and kept Chinese tradition through stories of their past and traditional Chinese foods. However, when my parents had me, something along the way was lost, and I was raised fully American. (b)It was my grandfather's story of his life and past history that made me realize what I was missing, and now I know.
III. Conclusion: Third Paragraph
a. In about 2-3 sentences re-cap who this inspiring person is and why they inspired you.
b. In about 2-3 more sentences tell what change(s) you have made in your life or lesson that you have learned in your life as a result of this person.
c. In about one sentence, offer your reader some sort of advice or inspiring words about the person you know or about how people should never take for granted the ones who can truly touch and change another life for the better. Simply, end with the lesson that was learned and/or with a wise message to leave your reader with.
Sample of conclusion:
(a) My Grandfather inspired me because through all his hardships and cultural differences of moving to America from China, he never once forgot who he was or where he came from. He kept his language, his history, and his memories, while learning and starting a new history. He lived to tell his story to the third generation of Chinese American grand children, and because of his doing so, I now know that I am not American, but Chinese American, and I am proud of both. (b)As a result, I have now learned the Chinese language and all about my history so that I can pass that on to the fourth and fifth generations of my family. My grandfather only spoke to me coldly and gave me dirty looks because he was afraid that the tradition of who he is would end with me, but he no longer needs to have that fear. (c)It is important to know where you come from.
Another student sample of introduction:
(a)My mother is the most inspiring person to me because she is emotionally strong. Throughout my entire life, my mother never gave up on my sister and me. (b)My mother raised us both and never once turned her back on us; she was there for us, and despite the fact that she may have been lonely raising us by herself, she remained strong and never let any other influences or desires take her away from us. My mother devoted her entire life to my sister and me. When my parents got divorced, my father abandoned all of us for another woman, and though my mom was left alone with us kids, she raised my sister and me. (c)As a result, her strength turned my weakness into a threshold of endless desire to never give up.
Another student sample of body paragraph:
(a)I will never forget the day that turned many years into trial and tribulation. My parents got divorced. Our happy home of four was turned upside down. One day my mother came home to discover that my father was having an affair, not just an affair but a relationship, with another woman. When my parents divorced, my father decided he did not want us or to leave us with anything. So my mother raised my sister and me by herself. She spent days, weeks, months, and years trying to keep a roof over our heads; while still instilling proper values into my sister and me. My mother moved from a nice home to a small duplex with us. Everything in this duplex was falling apart and rotting, and while I began to lose hope of never finding happiness again, my mother maintained that hope. One day our roof caved in, and we did not have the money to fix it. Although my mom must have been scared and desperate, she did not do what I have seen many other parents do. She did not run away with another person; she did not turn to drugs or alcohol; she did not yell at me or my sister. Instead she just laughed and said, "I never did mind the little things." So she got an extra job and encouraged my sister and me to get a part-time job, and then we were able to fix the roof. (c)Through all these years of little hardships, my mother was able to save money, and now she runs her own business of a nonprofit organization of debt counseling service for people who are financially struggling.
Another student sample of conclusion:
(a)My mother is truly an inspiring person to me. Divorce can really cause a kid to lose his or her way, mostly from the self blame. (b)As a result to this self-blame, I became a not so good teen. I hung out with the wrong crowds, I began drinking and smoking and failing classes. I brought this home to our duplex, but my mom never gave up; she felt alone, but she never gave up. The fact that she worked to keep my sister and me from losing hope, and she took her own hope and opened up a business to help people who experience much of the same suffering that made me realize all she sacrificed for us. After that one moment of her raising us out of the dirt, I changed. I am now in college studying English to become a professor and help people. (c)It is important to always see the good in a bad time, and my mother was and is that good in what was once a bad time.
Edit your work until you know that your whole mind, heart, and soul is content and went into your narrative.
- Just simple follow the format, enjoy your writing experience, be creative, and find your voice through words.
- Time, patience, heart, and a quiet place.