Structure Structure: is the basic framework of the principles and the patterns on which it is organized. Example: The structure of a play may fall into logical divisions and also a mechanical division of acts and scenes. Like Romeo & Juliet is divided into acts and scenes. Groups of stories may be set in a larger structure or frame, like The Canterbury Tales, The Decameron, or The Arabian Tales.
In Medias Res In Medias Res: the narrative relation of a story begins either at the mid-point or at the conclusion, rather than at the beginning, establishing setting, character, and conflict. Example: A murder story that starts after the person is murdered. The story then gradually reveals how and why the murder took place. The effect of starting in the middle is that significant questions and tension is created as the audience wonder about what happened before. This also allows the presentation of the story to start in the middle of exciting action without having to explain why it happens beforehand.
Exposition Exposition-allows the reader to understand the characters and the events that have been introduced. Example: In the play the Piano Lesson, August Wilson uses exposition by introducing the characters and events. He introduces Boy Willie by his name, relation to the family, and the scene he enters.
Flashback Flashbacks: are scenes that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story's primary sequence of events. Example: 1.In the movie Twilight when Bella goes to her first day of school, she compares it to her school in Scottsdale. The movie flashes back to her attending school in Scottsdale. 2. In the novel Song of Solomon, when the novel flashes back to the scene where Freddie catches Ruth breastfeeding Macon Jr, we then find out how he developed his nickname Milkman. Flashbacks are used to create suspense in a story, or develop a character.
Narrative Pace Narrative Pace: is when the author behind the characters makes choices about the pace at which they tell a story speeding/slowing down parts of a story. Example: In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, the narrator devotes the first nine chapters to recounting her childhood- her emotional abuse at the hands of her cruel aunt and cousins, then the novel leaps over her remaining years at the school. (slow narrative pace)
Parenthetical Observation Parenthetical Observation: is a temporary interruption which the character or the narrator reflects on a minor point that seizes his attention. Example: Hamlet’s love letter to Ophelia: “ ‘To the celestial and my soul’s idol, the most beatified Ophelia’ – that’s an ill phrase, a vile phrase, ‘beautified’ is a vile phrase. But you shall hear –”
Subplot Subplot: are the secondary stories that parallel or contrast with the main action. Example: In The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main plot consists of Gatsby's attempt to gather the admiration of his old love, Daisy but a subplot develops concerning the romance of their friends, Nick Caraway and Jordan Baker. In Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth, the main plot consists of the romance between Neil, a twenty-something slacker, and Brenda, a suburban princess, but a subplot develops around an African-American child who loves art books and who Neil observes at his job in the public library.
Shift in Style Shift in Style: is a marked change in style of a work, usually accompanied by an alteration in tone. Example: “Lapis Lazuli,” William Yeat’s poem about the consolation of art in the midst of tragedy, shifts style and tone in each of its five stanzas. It begins with a mocking echo of “hysterical women” then shifts to Shakespearean tragedy.