How to Write a Narrative of the Day's Events

Every day is a story.
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Whether you’re attempting to write the next great American novel or a page in your journal, the cliché turns out to be quite true; you should write what you know. When searching for a narrative topic it’s often productive to reflect and search through personal events. If you’re going to write a story on the events of a particular day there is a set of criteria that will ensure the narrative is successful.

1 Significance

A fundamental quality of a great narrative is that it focuses on a particularly significant time in a character's life. When you’re preparing to write your narrative choose a day in your life when something important happened. If you decide that the day you met your significant other is among the more influential incidents in your life, it is most likely a story that includes a series of events. But don’t feel constrained to positive days, some of the most engaging stories are sad.

2 Organization

An organic storyline is invaluable. One of the most difficult jobs a writer has is to make an imaginary story seem real. By basing a narrative on a real day’s events, you’re off to a great start in terms of potentially creating a natural storyline. Organize the events of the day in a simple yet developed manner. Chronological organization is usually the most simple technique. Whether your research involves looking through bank statements, phone records or talking to loved ones and friends, do your best to account for each event from the specific day accurately.

3 Honesty

One of the most powerful ways to command a reader’s attention is to be brutally honest. Don’t be afraid to explain and describe certain events, situations and personal encounters with absolute honesty. Social interaction is restricted by political correctness and polite rules, but your writing doesn't have to follow any of them. If the sight of a homeless person made you want to abandon societal norms and live in the woods for a fleeting moment, tell your reader. True honesty is rare and valuable, and it is something everyone experiences over the course of a day.

4 Urgency

Fill your prose with urgency. Harness all the reasons you believe the specific day’s events are significant and write your narrative with enthusiasm. Once you’ve clarified a point, description or ideology, move on. There is no reason to explain something with a paragraph when it can be written in a single sentence.

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.