Elements of a Short Story
Ms. Hungerford Freshman English
The long and short of the Short Story..
Brief (fictional) work which generally tells a sequence of events within a certain time and place. Told in less detail than a novel.
Plot: What makes a good story?
The sequence of events, the “why” for the things that happen in the story.
Plot Development The plot draws the reader into the character's lives and helps the reader understand the choices that the character makes
Plot 1. Exposition (introduction) 2. Rising Action 3. Climax
Every story follows a sequence of events (aka: plot) The 5 stages of plot are: 1. Exposition (introduction) 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action 5. Resolution
Five Stages of Plot 1. Exposition: Introduction to characters, setting, conflict and the problem 2. Rising Action: The building of suspense to the climax 3. Climax: The point of highest tension/the turning point of the story 4. Falling Action: tells what happens to the characters after the turning point 5. Resolution: The ending of the story (can be open or closed) Rising action is what occurs leading up to the climax. The rising action's purpose is usually to build suspense all the way up the climatic finish. The rising action should not be confused with the middle of the story, but is the action right before the climax. For example: In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Harry must go through a set of tasks to reach where the sorcerer's stone is hidden where he will have the final battle. These are the actions leading directly up to the climax where Harry must face the thief who is trying to get the stone. The rising action's purpose is usually to build suspense all the way up the climatic finish. The rising action should not be confused with the middle of the story, but is the action right before the climax. For example: In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Harry must go through a set of tasks to reach where the sorcerer's stone is hidden where he will have the final battle. These are the actions leading directly up to the climax where Harry must face the thief who is trying to get the stone. The climax (or "turning point") of a narrative work is its point of highest tension or drama in which the outcome is made known. The falling action follows the climax. Therefore, it deals with the effects that the climax has on the characters. For instance, in Oedipus Rex, by the Greek playwright Sophocles, the climax comes when Oedipus realizes that the man he killed was his father, Laius, and the woman he married was his mother, Jocasta. In the falling action, Oedipus and Jocasta deal with this revelation. Jocasta does this by killing herself and Oedipus does this by blinding himself. However, the plot is not always very cut and dry. Since the plot’s structure is the way in which the story elements are arranged; writers may vary structure depending on the needs of the story. For example, in a mystery, the author will withhold plot exposition until later in the story as to not give away too much information early on in the story. It's not always a straight line from the beginning to the end of a short story. In Ernest Hemingway's story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," the action shifts from past to present. This shifting of time is the way we learn what happened and why, and it keeps us interested in the story. But good stories always have all the plot elements in them.
Exposition: and the problem
Definition: Introduction to the characters, setting, conflict and the problem In the exposition: Characters Setting Conflict (problem)
Definition: A person/actor represented in the plot of a story, drama, etc. Protagonist: main character Antagonist: a character or force (feeling, situation) which acts against the protagonist Foil: Character who provides a contrast to the protagonist.
Exposition: Dynamic Characters
Definition: Characters who encounter conflict and are changed by it are called round, or dynamic. - Dynamic characters tend to be more fully developed and described (Round Characters) -they probably seem as real to you as people you know in real life. This is a good sign that they are round characters.
Exposition: Static Characters
Definition: character who does not undergo substantial change or growth (during a story). *flat characters tend to have less detail said about them and are less known to the reader than round or dynamic characters. Flat characters tend to be static, but they don’t always have to be.
Characters: You can learn about them in many ways
Stories need plot, setting, & characters but that is WHO the characters are. That is not WHAT a character is all about.
Characterization: How the writer reveals the personality of a character Two types of characterization: - Direct Characterization - Indirect Characterization The character is the actor(s) in the story’s plot. They can be people, animals, or whatever the writer chooses. Also, short stories are usually populated with characters other than the protagonist or antagonist – these are called MINOR characters because they are minor to the plot line but necessary because they provide support and illuminate the protagonist.
Author’s reveal character traits…
Directly: When the author tells the reader what the character is like Example: John was dressed to the nines in his black gucci suit, white felt tie, and shiny crocodile print shoes
Direct Example: Example: “The patient boy and quiet girl were both well mannered and did not disobey their mother.” Explanation: The author is directly telling the audience the personality of these two children. The boy is “patient” and the girl is “quiet.”
Author’s reveal character traits
Indirectly: shows things that reveal the personality of a character. Shows through the following: Speech Thoughts Effect on others Actions Looks You as the reader must figure out your own opinion of the character through their appearance (how they look or what they wear), their personality (how a character behaves and motives that lead to their behavior), background (where the character comes from and the experiences that they have had),relationships(how that character interacts with others), conflict and change whether the character struggles and changes throughout the course of the action in the story.
Indirect Explanation Speech: (words) What does the character say? How does the character speak? Thoughts: What is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings? Effect on others toward the character: What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character? Actions: What does the character do? How does the character behave? Looks: What does the character look like? How does the character dress?
-initiates the mood Exposition: Setting
Definition: The time, place and social environment in which a story takes place. -initiates the mood Writers describe the world they know. Sights, sounds, colors, and textures are all vividly painted in words as an artist paints images on canvas The location of a story’s actions, along with the time in which it occurs, is the setting and helps you understand the characters
Mood: the overall feeling of a story (an extension of the setting) Ex: Mystery Tone: clues, revealed through choice of words or details, that suggest the writer’s attitude toward things. EX: Pessimism, optimism, seriousness, bitterness, joyful, humorous, etc.
2. External Conflict: Struggle between two opposing forces
Exposition: Conflict Definition: The problem in any piece of literature Two types of conflict: 1. Internal Conflict: Struggle between two opposing forces within a person 2. External Conflict: Struggle between two opposing forces
Rising Action Definition: suspenseful events following the exposition and leading to the climax - The rising action's purpose is usually to build suspense all the way up to the climax.
Climax Definition: the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion—the turning point of the story—this is when things can’t go back to the way they were before for anyone involved in the story.
Falling Action Definition: The events after the climax which lead to the close of the story.
Resolution Definition: The end of the story. It rounds out and concludes the action.
Point of View (P.O.V.) Point of view is the narrator (storyteller) of the story First person: Participates in the story (“I did, When I woke up..”) Third person: An outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. This person can tell us what is happening, but not the thoughts of the characters. (“He was, She started to..”) Point of view is the focus from which the story was written. Can be 1st person or 3rd person view, it can also be omniscient (all knowing) or limited knowledge. What do we mean by these? If the story is told with "I did ...., I saw.... , when I woke up..." it's first person narration and that is it's 1st person point of view. According to this we can say that third person point of view is when the narration is "He was walking down..., she started laugh..." When the narrator (who tells the story, the owner of the point of view) knows what's on each characters' mind, their heart, psychology, that means all-knowing; like God -omniscient. It is when the story is told by an all knowing narrator who supplies more information about all the characters and events than any one character could know. When the narrator knows only what's seen or what can be guessed-maybe like the reader it's limited point of view, not omniscient.
Point of View (P.O.V.) Omniscient: The narrator is an all-knowing outsider who can enter the minds of more than one of the characters. Third-Person Limited: The narrator is an outsider who sees into the mind of one of the characters.
Theme (the lesson you can learn from reading the story)
Definition: The main idea or underlying meaning of a story (the lesson you can learn from reading the story) Subject: the topic on which an author has chosen to write. Theme: makes some statement about or expresses some opinion on that topic. Examples: The subject of a story might be war while the theme might be the idea that war is useless. Little Red Riding Hood : "Don't talk to strangers."
Theme Themes may be major or minor.
A major theme is an idea the author returns to time and again. It becomes one of the most important ideas in the story. Minor themes are ideas that may appear from time to time.
Irony Verbal Irony Situational Irony Dramatic Irony
Definition: thinking one event will happen but another (completely different event) happens and it still makes sense. Verbal Irony Situational Irony Dramatic Irony
Irony: Verbal Definition: when someone says one thing, means the opposite, and everyone understands she means the opposite. Example: After working non-stop, eighteen hours a day for a solid year, the publisher and his staff saw their magazine finally gain profit. At a party to celebrate, the publisher told his staff how they really ought to be working harder and they laughed.
Irony: Situation Definition: The opposite of what is expected to happen, happens. But it still makes sense. Examples: The firehouse burned down The police station was robbed
Irony: Dramatic Definition: when the audience or reader knows more than the characters know. Example: The day after the assassination, someone saw Mary Todd Lincoln and asked her how she enjoyed the play the night before. (We know and Mary knows that Abraham Lincoln was shot at the theater the night before, but the person did not.)
Symbolism Definition: an object that represents a very complex idea.
A symbol does not represent an object it represents an idea. Example: I could ask fifty different people what the American flag represented and get fifty different ideas that the flag represents.
Done... for now.
© 2023 SlidePlayer.com Inc.
All rights reserved.