Lecture slides available: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/childlit/courses.htm Also held at Short Loan Desk – ask for “Lecture Notes for Genres in Children’s Literature”
Criteria for Quality Fantasy. The basis of the fantasy How decisive and believable is the opening of the story in establishing the fantasy element and its logic? (the cosmology of the Secondary World) Does the fantasy encourage suspension of disbelief? Would it be easy for young readers to immerse themselves in the fantasy element? Is the fantasy element consistently developed in the novel? (A poor fantasy story will resolve plot by simply introducing new fantasy elements).
Criteria for Quality Fantasy. Is the fantasy element necessary to the story and used to express a worthwhile theme? - A good fantasy story should make the reader see a world afresh by making unfamiliar a familiar subject, or the reverse. Does the author sustain effective comparisons and contrasts between the fantasy and the real world on which it comments? As there are several common types of fantasy stories (wish fulfilment, time; heroic; animal; two world; Utopian, etc.) how does this story compare with other fantasies of a similar type? Which ‘what if’ question does the novel ask and answer?
Criteria for Literary elements. Characters Setting Plot Story structure Themes Voice/ point of view Type or Genre
Criteria for Literary elements. Characters: Who are the main characters? (names) What are they like? (age/appearance) Who is in their family? (parents/siblings) What do they like/dislike/aim to do? Who are their friends? Who are their enemies? Are these details … Believable? Consistent?
Criteria for Literary elements. Setting: Where will the story happen? city/ country/ school/ home/ overseas/ other world When will the story happen? present day past (historical) - medievalism Future (predictions for the future) Better world, scary world, strange worlds Is there a transfer from Primary to the Secondary world? Is it consistent with the fantasy element?
Criteria for Literary elements. Plot - The series of actions of the story How does the story start? Who is involved? What is the problem? What happens in the story to move it along? How does the main character solve the problem or reach a resolution? How does it end? Are these details … Believable? Consistent?
Criteria for Literary elements. Story structure - the order and arrangement of the story. The simplest type is a linear storyline: start – middle - end In terms of action: initiation – conflict - complication – resolution - character reaction Consider the previously mentioned elements: Setting: Where and when does the story take place? Character’s motive: What does the character want to do? Action (plot) What causes the problem to emerge? What happens to the character in the story? Resolution: What solves the problem? What happens in the end? Is this sequence: Consistent and logical? Believable? (within the fantasy element)
Criteria for Literary elements. Voice/ point of view - The perspective from which we see the story. Who is telling the story? is it one (or more) of the main characters? is it one of the other characters? is it someone outside the story? Some techniques used may include: character dialogue inner character speech (thoughts, diaries) alternate narration (multiple voices) descriptions of what is happening how the character reacts - judgements Flashbacks - telling what happened in the past.
Criteria for Literary elements. Themes - what ideas the story explores Key character - families/ growing up/ growing old/ bullying/ school life/ coping with change/ solving problems/ who am I? (Identity) Situation - conflict/ adventure/ decision making/ danger/ challenges Values – good vs evil/ violence/ friendship/ priorities & choices/ power How do these themes translate to the Primary World?
Criteria for Literary elements. Type or Genre - what type of story Fantasy Secondary world – fantasy element – type of fantasy Relevance/connection to Primary world Realism Contemporary - could happen today Historical - could have happened in the past Future - could happen in the future. Style Humorous – moral – instructional – adventure - problem solving – mystery – gothic Are these choices appropriate for the themes?