Literary Elements of Narrative Text Type
Plot Literary Elements of Narrative Text Type
Plot The series of related events that make up a work of fiction. Plot is what happens in a short story, novel, play or narrative poem. climax Rising action Falling action Plot line: the graph that plots out the events and actions that occur throughout the story. It is a “picture of the story in sequential order. resolution exposition
Exposition The introduction
The part of plot in which the major characters, setting, and basic situation are introduced. The first part of the plot line.
Inciting incident “incite”: to encourage or prompt into action
The event that sparks the action of the plot. This is the event that moves the story from the exposition into the rising action. Inciting incident
Rising action The part of the plot line that presents situations that move the plot along until it reaches the climax. The characters take steps to resolve the conflicts.
Complication The part of the plot in which the conflict, problem, or struggle between opposing sides is made known to the reader. Complications arise when the characters take steps to resolve the conflict. Complications make up the rising action of the story.
Climax The part of the plot which is the turning point or most important event in the story. The outcome is decided one way or another. The situation is never the same for the protagonist after the climax.
Falling action The situations in the plot that happen after the climax. Usually, the major conflict is solved in some way, so the remaining events serve to bring the story to a close.
Resolution The conflict is resolved and the story is brought to a close.
Parallel episodes These are repeated elements of the plot.
Each time an event is repeated in the story it is labeled a parallel episode. In “Those Three Wishes” a wish is made three times with the same result which makes those episodes parallel.
subplot A minor plot that relates in some way to the main plot.
theme The general idea or insight about life that a work of literature reveals. The theme is the idea or message that the writer wishes to convey about a certain subject such as friendship, life experiences, love, or human suffering. Example: Innocent people often suffer in times of conflict.
Universal Theme Recurring themes that will appear in works from different cultures and across time periods. Example: Good will triumph over evil.
Setting The time, place, and environment of the action of the story.
It may play an important role in the plot, especially in stories or novels involving a conflict between a character and nature.
Mood The overall feeling or atmosphere of a work of literature.
The mood can often be described in one or two adjectives (ex. Scary, sad, happy, nostalgic). The writer produces mood by the use of descriptive words, setting, images, and specific details.
Suspense The uncertainty or anxiety that a reader feels about what will happen next in a story, novel, or drama.
Foreshadow An author’s use of hints or clues to suggest events that will occur later in the story. Often used to build suspense and keep readers interest by preparing readers for the events that will follow. For example: The author may tell us that the story is taking place on island with a bad reputation. This may foreshadow that something dangerous may happen.
Flashback Interruption in the present action of a plot to show events that happened at an earlier time. It breaks normal forward movement of a narrative. Example: In The Outsiders, Ponyboy goes back in time to relive the day the gang found Johnny in the vacant lot after the Soc beating.
A guide to key narrative terms
Character Terms A guide to key narrative terms
Character An imaginary personality created by an author. The character may be a human or an animal Rikki-tikki-tavi Ponyboy Curtis
Types of Characters Protagonist: the main character who faces a problem and in his/her attempt to solve it, becomes involved in a conflict with an opposing force. Antagonist: The person, force, or idea that opposes the main character who is the protagonist
Types of Characters Dynamic character: a character who changes as a result of his/her experiences within the work. Static character: a character who remains the same throughout the course of the conflict.
Characterization The process by which the author reveals the personality of the character. Characterization can be done directly or indirectly.
Direct characterization: a writer simply tells the reader the character’s personality. Example: Rikki-tikki was a brave mongoose.
Indirect characterization: a writer reveals the character’s personality without directly telling the reader. The reader must infer the character’s traits based on what is told to us about the character.
Five methods of Indirect Characterization
The author reveals character through the following ways: 1.) through words of the character 2.) through description of the character’s looks and clothing 3.) through description of the character’s thoughts and feelings 4.) through comments made about the character by other characters in the story 5.) through the character’s behavior
The motivation of a character is any force that drives the character to behave in a particular way (such as love or fear or jealousy).
Conflict A struggle between opposing characters or forces.
A character can face an internal conflict or an external conflict.
Conflict Internal conflicts: the conflict takes place within a character’s own mind. It is a struggle between opposing needs, desires or emotions. These conflicts are referred to as man vs. self
Conflict External conflicts: struggles with an outside force.
These conflicts are referred to as… man vs. man man vs. nature man vs. society
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