|Model Neighborhood Narrative Essay
The first paragraph is the exposition. It gives some interesting details and sets the stage for the rest of the narrative. The last sentence of the exposition leads into what will be the first paragraph of the narrative. It is a transition or a sentence that ends what you are talking about but directly connects it to what you will be talking about in the next paragraph.
Ruston was a small college town of only about 25, 000 people, but it was a great place to grow up. When I was about eight years old, I would walk to the movie theater in town for the Saturday matinees with my two older sisters. Sometimes we would walk down to the city pool to swim. You had to step into this shallow tub of water with some kind of cleaner in it before you could go into the bathroom or the place where you could shower and change. Supposedly, that kept people from bringing germs onto the floor from outside. The pool was enormous and had two diving boards, one low and one high board. I was very scared of the high dive, but still managed to jump off a few times. My sisters and I went there or to the pool at the college on Saturdays during the summer.
The second is a descriptive paragraph and begins your story by developing the setting and starting the rising action. This would be a good paragraph to use foreshadowing. Note that I said the dog was acting funny before the wind started to blow. Dogs can often sense things like storms and earthquakes. I used it to build suspense.
One Saturday, we'd just gotten home from swimming. Momma told us to hang our wet swimsuits on the clothesline outside. The clothesline was in the back yard and was strung between and oak tree and this silver pole that looked like a "T". We'd hung them with wooden clothes pins on the wire and were playing in the backyard with Missy, our beagle, who loved to chase a stick and would bring it to you over and over to throw. Missy began to act funny and went to the back porch screen. About that time, the wind started to blow and Momma called Becky and me to come inside because a rain storm was brewing. Missy shot in the door in front of us.
The third paragraph is rising action paragraph. It is a good paragraph to use some dialogue or description. Your goal in this paragraph is to build suspense for the reader.
My sister, Pam, who was bossy and always tried to tell me what to do said, "We better go out and get the swimsuits off the line before the rain starts."
"I want to go, too." I said.
Pam said, "No, you are too little to reach the line."
Momma, who was in the kitchen making gumbo said, "Pam, let her come with you."
Pam rolled her eyes and grabbed my hand. "Come one then," she said.
The fourth paragraph is the most important part of my story. It has the climax in it. The suspense is getting more intense here. The climax is when the lightening strikes.
The wind was really starting to blow when we walked out of the screened-in back porch and down the steps to the backyard. Leaves were blowing falling off the trees and whirling around in the air. The swimsuits were whipping around like flags. When my sister reached the line and put her hand on the clothespin, a blinding flash of light and a loud pop had us both jumping with fright. Lightening had hit the big oak tree that the clothesline was connected, too. Before Pam could release the clothes pin, the electricity from the lightening had run down the metal line and shocked her. As I was holding her hand, the shock went through me, too. It was a weird, stinging and shaky feeling.
The fifth or final paragraph contains the denouement and falling action. The denouement is when Momma runs out and takes us out of danger. The falling action events are what happens to close out the story. We get cookies and don't have to do our work. Dad comes home. This paragraph also has an ending thought, which is very important in closing off an essay. I mention that I still am afraid of lightening all these years later.
Momma bolted out of the back door and grabbed us, rushing us back into the house. Other than having the hair standing up straight on our arms, like when you rub a balloon and put it by your skin, we weren't hurt. Mother hugged us both and gave us a Dr. Pepper and some cookies. We didn't have to do anything the rest of the day because we were supposed to rest. That part was good because our other two sisters had to fold all the clothes and put them away while we "rested." Daddy said, when he got home from the office, that we were lucky we weren't electrocuted. To this day, I cringe when I see lightening.
Checklist: (Check these things before you turn in your paper.)
Is every paragraph indented a finger width or five spaces if typed?
Is my essay at least five paragraphs?
Do I have ending punctuation at the end of every sentence?
Did I capitalize all proper nouns, first words of sentences and the word "I"?
Are all of my sentences one complete thought?
Did I make run-on sentences compound with a comma and the word and, so, or but before the next complete thought?
Do I have the following:
a clear climax
an ending thought