A short story is … a brief fictional narrative in prose Sometimes only a few pages in length!
The essence of the short story is “ the plot ” ……. Parts of the plot are: Exposition Conflict Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution / Denouement A plot is the sequence of events in a narrative work.
Definitions for parts of the plot: Resolution / Denouement: the final outcome Exposition: introduction of characters, setting, & situation Conflict: a struggle between opposing forces Rising action: complications that occur in trying to resolve the conflict Climax: the emotional high point of the story Falling action: the logical consequences of the climax
Conflict can be internal or external. Internal – a character’s struggle within himself; torn between opposing feelings or different courses of action (psychological) External – a character’s struggle with an outside force
Types of external conflict: character vs. another character character vs. society character vs. nature character vs. machine character vs. supernatural being social metaphysical physical
What Do We Mean by the Theme of a Story? The theme is the author’s message about his/her perception about life or human nature. The theme of a literary work can be stated or implied.
Protagonist – the main character Antagonist – the character/ force in conflict with the protagonist. Characters Characters are the actors in a story’s plot.
Types of Characters Stock or Stereotyped – flat character that is “typical” and often repeated. Dynamic – changes attitude in the course of the story; gains new understanding or insight Static – remains the same throughout the story Flat – has only one personality trait Round – has varied & different personality traits
Characterization Direct characterization – when the author tells the reader about the character’s traits directly Indirect characterization – when the author reveals a character’s personality through the character’s words, thoughts, actions, appearance, and reaction of other characters. …. is the method the author uses to reveal a character’s personality
Point of View is the voice the author uses to tell his story. Third-person objective (he/she) – narrator is outside the story; reveals only actions & speech; no thoughts or feelings First-person (I, me, my) – narrator is a character in the story; reader sees everything through the character Third-person limited (he/she) – narrator outside the story; reveals thoughts and feelings of just one character Third-person omniscient (he/she) – narrator outside the story; reveals thoughts and feelings of all characters; “all- knowing”
Foreshadowing …is the use of clues that give hints so that the reader can predict what will happen.
Irony is the difference between what appears to be real and what is actually real in a story. Dramatic Irony – difference between what the reader knows and what the character knows. The reader has more or better information than the character. Verbal Irony – difference between what a speaker says and what he means Situational Irony – difference between what the reader expects to happen and what actually happens
Other definitions …. Tone – the author’s attitude about the subject of the literary work. Symbolism – when an object, person, place or experience represents something else that is abstract Diction – the author’s choice of words Denotation – a word’s literal or dictionary definition Connotation – a word’s implied / emotional meaning
Other Definitions … Motif – a pattern of imagery or symbolism in a work of literature. Epiphany – the sudden understanding in which a character proceeds from ignorance and innocence to knowledge and experience. Suspense – the quality that makes the reader uncertain or tense about the outcome of events.