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The Short Story English I.

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Presentation on theme: "The Short Story English I."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Short Story English I

2 The Definition Short Story- a fictional prose narrative containing less than ____________words Fictional= Prose= Narrative=

3 General Facts about Short Stories
A short story usually has: Very few ________________ A single _________________ One major _______________

4 The Elements of a Short Story
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

5 1. Setting Setting= the _________, _________ and general background information in a story Example- a town, city, or country Example- a historical time period Example- a particular social status or lifestyle

6 The Purposes of a Setting
1. 2. 3. 4.

7 A few examples of techniques to create an effective setting
Film directors use many of the same techniques writers use to create an atmosphere. Visual Surroundings and Sounds…

8 Characterization Characterization- the method an author uses to acquaint his or her readers with the characters in the story Example: Pieces of information in the story that let the reader know about a character

9 Types of Characterization
____________________- the author gives clues about the character but places the burden for understanding the character upon the reader. Example: Clues given through a character’s actions, words, etc.

10 Types of Characterization
_____________________- the author clearly states the entire description of a character. Example: “The man was tired; he had not slept in days.”

11 Methods of Characterization
1. The character’s ____________________ (what the character looks like) 2. The character’s ___________________, what he or she _____________, and what he or she __________________ (as portrayed through events in the story) 3. What the author directly tells the reader 4. The character’s _______________

12 Tests to Determine the Main Character
1. He or she will be in ______________ scenes in the story. 2. Something will happen to the character either _______________________. 3. He or she will make a ____________ or important decision and cause the action in the story.

13 3. Theme Theme- the central idea, universal truth, or “message” within the story The theme of the story may be ____________ or ______________. Implied themes are suggested indirectly through the experiences of the characters or through the events and setting of the work.

14 Application of Theme A story’s theme is the idea you can take from the story and apply within some part of your life- or to humanity in general. Example: The “moral” of the story. Examples of general themes: Friendship Love Revenge Growing up

15 4. Point of View Point of view- the voice of the story; the author’s choice of narrator for the story

16 Types of Point of View ________________- an actual character within the story (a limited point of view) Example: “Scout” in To Kill a Mockingbird- she tells the story from her point of view

17 Types of Point of View _________________- “all knowing,” the narrator stands out of the story and knows everything about all of the characters and action This point of view is also called _________________ ______________________________. Example: In “Star Wars,” words scroll across the screen at the beginning telling us the background story… “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” (Lucas)

18 Types of Point of View _____________________- the narrator is outside of the story and only has a limited amount of information (ex. only about one character or event). This is also called ____________________________. Example: The short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

19 Plot Structure through Short Stories (Source adapted from:, used with permission)
Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. A plot diagram is an organizational tool, which is used to map the significant events in a story. By placing the most significant events from a story on the plot diagram, you can visualize the key features of the story. Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story.

20 Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in Chronological order
Flashback In addition, you can note that some stories follow a circular or episodic plot, and hypertextual stories can be different every time they’re read, as the reader chooses the direction that the story takes. If a story that students are working on does not fit into the triangle structure, think about why the author would choose a different story structure and how the structure has changed. In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition

21 Pyramid Plot Structure
The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid-shaped. This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.

22 Aristotle’s Unified Plot
The basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis. Aristotle defined plot as comprised of three parts: beginning, middle, and end. When all the parts of a story follow naturally from one to the next in a connected way, Aristotle called the narrative structure a unified plot. The parts of a unified plot are linear, leading from one to the next in a cause and effect chain.

23 Freytag’s Plot Structure
Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a story’s plot. Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag’s structure begins with the introduction of a conflict or problem (exposition). At this point, background information is established. Next, the plot moves to rising action, as the conflict or problem is established fully. The mid-point of Freytag’s structure is the climax, the point in the story when there is a crisis or turning point. After the climax, the plot turns to falling action, when the events caused by the decision or crisis of the climax unfold. Finally, the story ends as the events are tied together (resolution). This final stage is also called the dénouement.

24 Modified Plot Structure
Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story. Some readers find Freytag’s Pyramid is oversimplified. As a result, Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.

25 Plot Components Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in action Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Conflict / Inciting Incident: something that captures the reader’s attention and keeps the story moving Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced. Sometimes called the “Narrative HOOK” this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story. Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict. Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes. Falling Action: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable. Resolution/Denouement: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point. Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads (Dénouement)

26 Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

27 Types of Conflict Interpersonal / External Conflict Human vs. Human
Human vs. Nature Human vs. Society Human vs. Self Internal Conflict

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