A personal narrative story is written from the author's point of view, and it may contain personal information, anecdotes and experiences. Like other stories, personal narratives include a beginning, middle and end.

Along with a beginning, middle and end, a good story has well-rounded characters, a developed setting and a full plot with conflict and purpose. The main character has a goal and, through conflict, will change throughout the story. The central story question should be whether or not the main character will achieve his or her goal. A personal narrative is not an autobiography, so it is not be a retelling of the author's life. However, the individual's experience will drive the course of the plot. In some cases, a personal narrative is an essay rather than a story. In that case, it should have a purpose and a clear point of view.