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Five Elements of the Short Story

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Presentation on theme: "Five Elements of the Short Story"— Presentation transcript:

1 Five Elements of the Short Story

2 The Five Elements: An Overview
Plot Character Setting Atmosphere Style The Five Elements: An Overview

3 Plot Plot is the arrangement of incidents or events in a story:
Exposition Initial (or inciting) incident Climax Falling action Final outcome (denouement) Plot

4 Exposition Gives the background to the story
Introduction of characters Setting Antecedent action: describes important events that have taken place before the story starts. Exposition

5 Initial Incident An event that “gets the ball rolling”
Incites or begins a conflict Initial Incident

6 Rising Action Events complicate the conflict
Conflict becomes more pronounced But not yet the peak of the story Rising Action

7 Climax The peak of tension in the story The “point of no return”
The moment of greatest suspense (if applicable) Climax

8 Falling Action Actions that lead to the resolution or final outcome
May be quite rapid in a short story Falling Action

9 Final Outcome (Denouement)
Denouement comes from the French words for “untying the knot” Any loose ends are rapped up A feeling of satisfaction or accomplishment should be created for readers Final Outcome (Denouement)

10 Character There’s no story without characters
Protagonist: the main character of the story (not necessarily the “good guy” E.g., Harry Potter Antagonist: the person opposing the protagonist E.g., Malfoy Character

11 Flat character: doesn’t change during the course of the story; one-dimensional
E.g. Nigel Round character: a character with many traits who changes through the story E.g. Ron Stock characters: a stereotyped character whom readers immediately recognize The absent-minded professor, Sybill Trelawney Types of characters

12 There are two main types of conflict a character may experience:
Internal: man vs. himself (an inner, moral struggle) External: Man vs. man Man vs. society Man vs. unknown Man vs. the supernatural Man vs. nature Character in Conflict

13 Learning about Characters
There are two main ways readers learn about a character: Direct Characterization: the author TELLS readers directly about the character E.g., “Harry didn’t care for bananas. They gave him indigestion.” Indirect characterization: the author SHOWS readers how a character may be Learning about Characters

14 More on Indirect Characterization
There are four key ways that an author SHOWS us what a character is like: What the character says: “Ugh, I hate bananas. They give me gas.” What the character thinks: Harry decided not to have a banana, remembering the unfortunate effects on his digestion. What the character does: Harry passed over the bananas and reached for a peach. What others say about the character: “Don’t let Harry have a banana. He’ll stink up the whole common room!” More on Indirect Characterization

15 Things to look at when examining a character closely:
The character’s dialogue What she says What she thinks What she does What motivates her Does her motivation change? Character Analysis

16 Setting The setting is WHERE and WHEN the story takes place.
The setting will have an important influence on the atmosphere. Setting

17 Atmosphere Atmosphere is often considered part of the setting.
Setting often helps determine atmosphere. A synonym for atmosphere is mood. Usually established at the beginning of the story Physical surroundings and even time can affect a character and the story’s mood. Atmosphere

18 Atmosphere Factors that can help create atmosphere in a story: Weather
Light or dark Shadows or natural lighting Colours Furniture Natural surroundings Atmosphere

19 Style Style is the author’s way of expressing him/herself
It encompasses a number of elements: Diction Sentence structure Point of view Irony Symbolism Imagery Figurative language Style

20 Style Think of it as a person’s style.
Many elements make up personal style: Clothing Hair colour, length Make up Shoes Way of speaking Style

21 More on style later. It’s a huge area to cover! Style

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