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Elements of Fiction Short Story Unit
Elements of a Short Story
A short story is a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting.
Plot Diagram climax rising action falling action exposition resolution
Exposition- gives the background of the story introduces the characters introduces the setting introduces the conflict
Rising Action- complications arise builds suspense events leading to the climax
Climax- the turning point of the story suspense reaches its peak
Falling Action events that occur after the climax leading up to the resolution usually ties up loose ends
Resolution- the ending or conclusion to a story the conflict is resolved
Types of Characters Protagonist main character round or dimensional
dynamic- or changes throughout the story Antagonist force working against protagonist static- does not change
Characterization: The process by which the writer/author reveals the personality of the character.
Direct TELLS the audience what the personality of the character is For example: The quiet boy, the patient girl
Indirect SHOWS things that reveal the personality of a character. Speech (what do they say and how do they speak?) Thoughts (private thoughts and feelings) Effect on others toward the character (effect on others; behavior and reaction to the character) Actions (what is their behavior?) Looks (what is their appearance like: looks, clothes, etc.) STEAL
Setting Tells time and place
Puts the reader in the story by giving the reader the feeling of being in the situation. Creates atmosphere by the positive or negative feelings associated with the place.
Plot The chain or series of related events that take place in a story. that include rising action, climax, and falling action Built around conflict
Conflict A struggle between opposing forces. External Man v Man
Man v Nature Man v Obstacle or Society Man v Supernatural Internal Man v Self
Point-of-View (Who’s telling this story anyway?)
the vantage point from which the story is told. determines how much we, the readers, know about the characters.
1st Person Narrator is a character in the story.
Narrator uses first-person pronouns, I, me, my, we, us, our to refer to himself or herself. Narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character and speaks directly to reader.
3rd Person Limited Narrator does not participate in action of story.
Narrator does not refer to himself or herself. Narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character, but readers are able to maintain some emotional distance from the character.
3rd Person Omniscient Narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters; readers get insight into several characters.
Theme In literature, theme is a perception about life or human nature that the writer wants to share with the reader. In most cases, the theme is not stated directly but must be inferred. Themes can be revealed by a story’s title key phrases and statements about big ideas the ways the characters change and the lessons they learn about life.
Building Suspense Moves the story along and helps the reader to move forward One way is through cause and effect creates new movement, or turns in the story, and adds new possibilities Often the reader can foresee (foreshadowing) events that will happen later in the story based on key phrases or events that occur earlier in the story
Imagery Uses vivid description to help create a picture in the reader’s head Remember, imagery describes, other devices compare such as: Simile- a direct comparison between two things using like or as (My love is like a red, red, rose) Metaphor- a direct comparison between two things- no like or as (Her heart was a drum, beating out a fast tune) Personification- giving human characteristics to non-human objects (the wind whispered softly in my ears)
Mood v Tone Watch out! Tone and mood are similar!!
Mood is the general atmosphere created by the author’s words. It is the feeling the reader gets from reading those words. It may be the same, or it may change from situation to situation. Mood is the overall feeling a reader gets from a story. Tone is the author’s attitude toward the writing (his characters, the situation) and the readers. A work of writing can have more than one tone. An example of tone could be both serious and humorous. Tone is set by the setting, choice of vocabulary and other details.
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