PARTS OF A SHORT STORY Student Notes
Plot Diagram 3 4 2 1 5
Plot (definition) Plot is the organized pattern or sequence of events that make up a story. Every plot is made up of a series of incidents that are related to one another.
1. Exposition This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).
2. Rising Action This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.
3. Climax This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.
4. Falling Action All loose ends of the plot are tied up. The conflict(s) and climax are taken care of.
5. Resolution The story comes to a reasonable ending.
Putting It All Together
1. Exposition 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action 5. Resolution Beginning of Story Middle of Story End of Story
CONFLICT Conflict is the problem in the story that the character must overcome. Man vs. Man Man vs. Self Man vs. Society Man vs. Nature Internal Conflict vs. External Conflict
Characterization Characterization is the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character. Characterization is revealed through direct and indirect characterization. Direct Characterization tells the audience what the personality of the character is. Indirect Characterization shows things that reveal the personality of a character.
Characterization There are five different methods of indirect characterization: Speech: 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?
Point of View 1st Person – The story is told from the “I” point of view. The character tells his/her own story. 2nd Person – The “you” point of view. Not used very often. 3rd Person – an outside narrator tells the story.
Theme A theme is the main idea, or message, of an essay, paragraph, or a book. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and may be implied rather than stated explicitly.
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