Everybody Has a Story

Republished from the archives because of its relevance to a new crop of students! Enjoy!

Personal Narratives are probably the easiest type of writing to do because everyone is full of stories.  Maybe the stories in your life aren’t as exciting as Harry Potter’s, as romantic as Bella Swan’s, or as frightening as Anne Frank’s, but they are stories.  So how do you decide what events in your life are good stories?  The best ones come from your most vivid memories of a special person, a unique event, or a time you felt a strong emotion.

One mistake people make when they are choosing ideas for personal narratives is that they want to tell the story of a week at Disneyland, or a summer spent in another country.  Those events have hundreds of stories in them!  Choose one piece of that vacation to develop into a story.  For example, when our two sons were very young we took them to Disneyland.  One son was afraid of the costumed characters, but the other one ran right up to them (His favorites were the mice from Cinderella).  Contrasting the two boys’ reaction to the characters might make a nice story.

When you’ve chosen your topic, brainstorm every detail you remember about that time.  Think of the senses: what did you smell, hear, see, touch, taste?  How did you feel?  What was the weather?  Who was there and what were they doing?  Close your eyes and pretend you are watching the event happen.  Notice all the details.

Now take that twenty or thirty minute event and write it out in descriptive sentences.  Make sure you include your emotions and those of the people you were with.  Describe the setting and the event thoroughly.

Stories are much better when they are shared.  Post your personal narratives here!


On my Kindle: The Swan Maiden by Jules Watson

26 responses to “Everybody Has a Story”

  1. My backyard is a dangerous place for lizards. One day, Cameron and I found one and a half dead lizards on the concrete. My cats kill all kinds of critters. My brother and I took a big magnifying glass and magnified the sun’s rays and fried the dead lizards. “Burn ’em!” I said as we incinerated them.

    1. October 30, 2007, 6:00p.m. It was the day right before Halloween. Our house was decorated so scary it was like the Haunted , Mansion in Disneyland. Glowing pumpkins, ghouls, skeletons and everything you may think scary. Our house was the scariest on the block. But we didn’t have the only thing to make Halloween perfect. CANDY! We needed bags and bags of candy. Halloween is a very, very, very long night.

  2. Great story, Avery! You have a very strong lead with that first sentence.

  3. i like that

  4. It was a sunny day, my cousins, Haya and Sophya came over to my house along with their mom. My sister, Fiza suggested we went outside to play. We all agreed. We raced to the swing sets and my dad came outside to push us. He pushed 4 year-old Sophya so hard that she went flying off that swing like a bird. She fell right in the middle of the grass. Everyone asked her if she was okay. She said, “That was fun let’s do it again.” We were all shocked, we thought she would be crying.

    1. Great details about the day, Zoha, and the emotions!

  5. No one knew. Not one person moved. The secret was revealed. The secret of death.The Maker was dead.

    Mary stared around watching everybody play.

    1. oooooo! Nice hook, Tiffany!

  6. nice story Avery

  7. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 B) XD EPIC AWSUMNES 😉 (^)>

  8. Nice blog

  9. I whined and I begged for a puppy. My parents would always say they’d think about it. But this time, they brought me to the pet store. Joy rushed through me. The moment I walked through the door of the pet store, his eyes caught my attention. The way his big dark eyes were filled with happiness. The way his tail wagged around. I found the perfect puppy.

  10. Nice, Michelle! I especially loved “Joy rushed through me.” Very descriptive!

  11. I took a deep breath as I broke through the surface of smooth water. I felt as if I had become part of it. All around me colorful fish swam about. As I swam deeper in, darkness creeped around of me, warning me to turn back. Suddenly, a huge creature with sharp fangs swam towards me, chomping its big great mouth.

    1. Very nice, Katherine! I love the first line, and the last line is a great page-turner. It makes me want to read more!

  12. tiffany, tell us more

  13. Katherine that is really good
    And who is dude

  14. All my life I have been waiting to go to science camp finally the day has come we are waiting for the bus to come when the bus is still coming. But the bad thing is that it is raining and there is strong wind blowing furiously which means we have bad luck and the trees might fall down. Driving the wind and rain is raining really hard. Everyone was talking and having fun.

    1. Great description of the weather, Jelena, but how were you feeling? Were you nervous, excited? How were people having fun? What were they doing?

  15. As i walked into the forest cutting tall grass blades with my machete, i trided to look for my dad. I know he was here because he sent me a note. Suddenly, a big, huge, gargangtuam monster appeared. He roared his roar and attacked. I tried to run but he grabed on to my legs and dragged me back to his cave… T B Continued
    O E

    1. Justin, you have great details here but you are missing the most important one…..how do you FEEL? Are you scared?

    2. As i walked into the very scary forest, cutting grass with my machete, i had this tingling feeling inside. I wanted my dad back. I felt sad and angry at the same time. Tears rushed down me and also rage filled up my body. I was about to explode! I lost control of my self and cut the grass like crazy!!! Until i calmed myself down, i was tearing up and steaming. When i calmed down, i remembered that note that some person put on my dads bed. Scared i started to walk again. Suddenly, a big, huge, gargangtuam monster appeared. He roared his roar and attacked. Now that all that fear was around me, i ran as fast as i can panting very hard. I couldn’t continue, i was going to be destroyed. While i was scared, tons of tears also came down my face. I couldn’t save my dad. Also i couldn’t save myself. When i cried, the monster started to scream!! I finally figured out the monster’s weakness! It was water. I remembered that i had water in my bag that i brought! Feeling excited, i grabbed the water and pored the water all over the monster. He shrunk and shrunk until he was a size of a booger. Scared and excited i ran. So much sweat and so much panting made me rest. I know now that i would be able to rescue my dad now! TO BE CONTINUED 🙂 🙁 🙂 🙁

  16. Justin, I really like how you show your rage with the machete cutting grass. That’s a great beginning. Be careful of using too many exclamation points! And on your revision, watch out for telling sentences like: As i walked into the very scary forest (SHOW the scary forest)

  17. […] expression Creative writing is just that–creative. Every child has stories within them (see Everybody Has a Story), and most have an innate desire to express themselves in words. With encouragement, teachers can […]

  18. I ran, but I couldn’t get away. I couldn’t escape the eternal darkness that tore up my soul. It was gone, and it was never coming back. It was all her fault, but I didn’t care anymore. It was gone.

  19. How do you like this idea?

    Pounds of sweat were pouring down me as the cart of the roller coaster started going up the steep hill. My heart was pounding hard like a drum getting pounded by a rock star. Cacoons were hatching into thousands of butterflies inside my stomach and my teeth chattered of fear as the top was very near. I closed my eyes and gripped ferociously onto the handle bar until slowly the cart rolled and came to a frightening stop at the top so everybody could see the long ramp down the incredibly long and enormous ramp of death.

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