The Braided Essay: What It Is and Why I Used This Writing Structure for My Food Memoir

I’ve always been a passionate fan of the braided essay in creative nonfiction. In a braided essay, one can align three or more threads of focal ideas throughout the piece, each idea separated via space breaks, white space, or section breaks.

I’ve usually used a memory-based/childhood or an event’s narration, or my own perspective of a personal incident and highlight a more universal topic or thread in the second braid. Sometimes a third braid is a researched topic that ties the above two together. Much like the mosaic essay, the threads appear disjointed, or out of place till a third braid links the two or aligns them to collate the idea to reveal the connections.

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