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Elements of Fiction Plot, Character, Setting, Point of View& Theme.

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Presentation on theme: "Elements of Fiction Plot, Character, Setting, Point of View& Theme."— Presentation transcript:

1 Elements of Fiction Plot, Character, Setting, Point of View& Theme

2 Fiction: A Genre of Literature Works of prose that have imaginary elements Works of prose that have imaginary elements Can be inspired by actual events and real people, but springs from writers’ imaginations Can be inspired by actual events and real people, but springs from writers’ imaginations 2 major types: Novels and Short Stories 2 major types: Novels and Short Stories 4 Basic Elements: 4 Basic Elements: Plot, Character, Setting, & Theme

3 #1 Plot Sequence of events that make up a story Sequence of events that make up a story Almost always built around CONFLICTS Almost always built around CONFLICTS (problems or struggles) 5 main stages 5 main stages 1. Exposition 2. Rising Actions 3. Climax 4. Falling Actions 5. Resolution

4 Plot Diagram Exposition Rising Actions Climax Fallin g Actions Resolution Introduction – background info; Sets the stage for the story; Introduces characters, setting, & conflict Complications Grow Conflict ↑ & Tension ↑ Development of complications & problems leading to the climax; Suspense builds & plot “thickens” Turning point in the story; Most tension or suspense; Can be anywhere in the novel Actions following climax; Conflict starts to resolve (Denouement) French: “untying of knots” Conclusion Final outcome of the story

5 Conflicts in a Plot Conflict – struggle or problem Conflict – struggle or problem 2 main kinds: External vs. Internal 2 main kinds: External vs. Internal 1) External – a struggle outside of the character; against someone or something else 2) Internal – a struggle within a character’s mind or heart

6 Types of Conflict 4 types 4 types Person vs. Nature Self Society Person

7 Sequence & Development of Plot Author’s carefully choose the sequence of events and the timeline in which the plot is developed (the order the events are presented) Author’s carefully choose the sequence of events and the timeline in which the plot is developed (the order the events are presented) Chronological Order, Reverse Order Chronological Order, Reverse Order TIME LINESTART END FlashbackForeshadowFlash-Forward Presents episodes/events From the past Hints or clues of what Is to happen later on Jumps ahead to Future events

8 #2 Character Main Characters Main Characters Protagonist: the main character; often the narrator Protagonist: the main character; often the narrator Antagonist: character that the protagonist struggles against and must overcome Antagonist: character that the protagonist struggles against and must overcome Subordinate Characters Subordinate Characters Minor characters who add depth and complication Minor characters who add depth and complication

9 Describing a Character Round vs. Flat Characters Round vs. Flat Characters Round: have several sides to their personality; Round: have several sides to their personality; complex, fully developed Flat: have few traits; Undeveloped Flat: have few traits; Undeveloped Dynamic vs. Static Characters Dynamic vs. Static Characters Dynamic: grow or change by the end of the story; Dynamic: grow or change by the end of the story; take action, change behavior or attitudes Static: don’t grow or change; stay the same Static: don’t grow or change; stay the same

10 What is Characterization? The way writers create characters in a story The way writers create characters in a story 2 ways: 2 ways: Direct Characterization – Direct Characterization – tells us directly what a character is like or what a person’s motives are Indirect Characterization – Indirect Characterization – shows us a character but we have to interpret the character ourselves

11 What are the methods of INDIRECT Characterization? Character’s SPEECH Character’s SPEECH 1 st person narration – character speaks directly to the reader 1 st person narration – character speaks directly to the reader Dialogue – what they have to say to themselves and to others Dialogue – what they have to say to themselves and to others Character’s APPEARANCE – look & dress Character’s APPEARANCE – look & dress Character’s PRIVATE THOUGHTS Character’s PRIVATE THOUGHTS Character’s INTERACTIONS – how other characters in the story feel about them or interact with them Character’s INTERACTIONS – how other characters in the story feel about them or interact with them Character ACTIONS – what they do & how they act Character ACTIONS – what they do & how they act

12 #3 SETTING Tells us WHERE and WHEN a story takes place Tells us WHERE and WHEN a story takes place Can reveal about the characters Can reveal about the characters Can provide MOOD or ATMOSPHERE Can provide MOOD or ATMOSPHERE Expresses a TONE Expresses a TONE (attitude toward a subject or character)

13 #4 Point of View Each story has a NARRATOR (storyteller). Each story has a NARRATOR (storyteller). The narrator can tell the story as one of the characters or can be a storyteller outside of it. The narrator can tell the story as one of the characters or can be a storyteller outside of it. The narrator can take on one of three POINTS OF VIEW (the perspective in which the story is told) The narrator can take on one of three POINTS OF VIEW (the perspective in which the story is told)

14 First Person A character in the story (often the main character) A character in the story (often the main character) Tells us the story directly to the reader from his/her own perspective Tells us the story directly to the reader from his/her own perspective Reveals personal thoughts and opinions Reveals personal thoughts and opinions Uses words like “I/we/my” in NARRATION Uses words like “I/we/my” in NARRATION Not always reliable or credible Not always reliable or credible

15 Third Person Limited Narrator is not in the story; instead is on the outside looking in Narrator is not in the story; instead is on the outside looking in Zooms in on one specific character and that character’s perspective (thoughts/feelings) Zooms in on one specific character and that character’s perspective (thoughts/feelings) Uses words like “he/she” in NARRATION Uses words like “he/she” in NARRATION

16 Third Person OMNISCIENT Narrator is not in the story; is on the outside looking in Narrator is not in the story; is on the outside looking in Doesn’t focus on just one character Doesn’t focus on just one character Omniscient = “all knowing” narrator Omniscient = “all knowing” narrator Tells us what EVERY character thinks and feels Tells us what EVERY character thinks and feels Uses words like “he/she’ in NARRATION Uses words like “he/she’ in NARRATION

17 Points of View First Person Third Person Limited Omniscient IN the story IN the story ONE character ONE character “I/we/my” “I/we/my” OUTSIDE of the story OUTSIDE of the story ONE character ONE character “He/She” “He/She” OUTSIDE of the story OUTSIDE of the story MANY characters MANY characters “He/She” “He/She”

18 Identify the POV “Love in L.A.” “Love in L.A.” “Initiation” “Initiation” “Hills Like White Elephants” “Hills Like White Elephants”

19 #5 THEME Central idea or message Central idea or message Insight or perception about life or human nature that the writer wants to communicate Insight or perception about life or human nature that the writer wants to communicate Seldom stated DIRECTLY  must be INFERRED (the reader must find meaning) Seldom stated DIRECTLY  must be INFERRED (the reader must find meaning) It is NOT a subject. It is a STATEMENT. It is NOT a subject. It is a STATEMENT. Friendship  True friendship can outlast any conflict. There can be more than one theme in a story. There can be more than one theme in a story.

20 Finding Themes Themes can be revealed by Themes can be revealed by The conflicts of the story The conflicts of the story The ways characters change The ways characters change The statements made in dialogue or narration The statements made in dialogue or narration Symbols within the story Symbols within the story The work’s title The work’s title

21 Examples of Themes The conflicts of the story The conflicts of the story “Love in L.A” reveals how superficial people can be in the conquest of love. The ways characters change/symbols in the story The ways characters change/symbols in the story In “Initiation”, the freedom and uniqueness of one’s individuality is more important than the pressures of conformity. Symbols within the story Symbols within the story The hills of the story, “Hills Like White Elephants” represent the difficult decisions and contrasting viewpoints that the idea of abortion creates.


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