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Short Stories and Essays Almost everything you need to know!

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1 Short Stories and Essays Almost everything you need to know!

2 What is a short story? A short story is a piece of fiction which can be read at one sitting. Like a novel it uses character, conflict, theme, setting, symbols and point of view to create an impression on the reader. Every detail contributes to this one impression – a unity of effect. In a short story every word counts, so it creates restrictions for the author.

3 Short Stories The plot of the story might be streamlined – only one major event may be explored. The rising action of the plot and climax might become to a head quite quickly; it may even occur in the last few paragraphs or the last few lines.

4 Short Stories Characters might not be as well developed and/or the number of characters is usually limited. There may be one or two central themes that are developed. The setting and atmosphere may be established very quickly at the beginning. There is usually one major point-of-view.

5 Introduces the character and setting In a short story, the plot moves quickly towards the denouement (conclusion). The complicating incidents or obstacles to resolve conflict. Point of highest tension. The End! All the loose ends are tied up (or not).

6 Character With direct characterization the author describes what a character is like. Indirect characterization allows the reader to come to his own conclusions about a character based on information the author gives such as the character’s name, appearance, dialogue, thoughts and actions. It can include how people and animals react to the character and what other people think of the character.

7 Character A static character does not change over the course of the story. Their character traits remain the same. A dynamic character changes by the end of the story. They become a different person. Flat: don’t know much about the character Round: know a lot about the character.

8 Theme The theme is the meaning or the purpose of the story. It should ALWAYS be expressed in a complete thought. Always use third person narration Do not start with negatives Avoid using cliché

9 Narration The angle from which the story is told. There are many different points of view. First Person - The Unreliable Narrator and the Innocent Narrator Third Person - Omniscient, Omniscient Limited and Omniscient Objective

10 Narration The omniscient narrator knows everything, may reveal the motivations, thoughts and feelings of the characters, and gives the reader information. With a limited omniscient narrator, the material is presented from the point of view of a character, in third person. The objective point of view presents the action and the characters' speech, without comment or emotion. The reader has to interpret them and uncover their meaning. A narrator may be trustworthy or untrustworthy, involved or uninvolved.

11 Conflict Person vs person Person vs self Person vs society Person vs nature Person vs supernatural

12 Confusing Terms! Tone – the attitude of the writer towards his/her subject. The tone may be a comic tone, serious, critical, angry, sympathetic…. Mood – the feeling the reader gets from the story. It is created through images, rhyme, rhythm, and other devices. Ex. The mood of “The Simpsons” is humorous but the tone is critical. Atmosphere – the overall feeling of the short story.

13 Irony Verbal Irony – Saying the opposite of what is meant. This often reveals something about the character who makes the comments. Sarcasm is a very simple form of verbal irony. Dramatic Irony - The reader knows more about the situation than the character. Daytime soaps use this device a great deal. A character is talking about her loving boyfriend who is cheating on her with her best friend! She doesn't know about it, but you do! Situational Irony – Events turn out differently than what was expected.

14 Essays An essay does not have a theme. It has a THESIS. A thesis can be either implicit (not directly stated) or explicit (directly stated) Typically, you would find the thesis in the introductory paragraph of an essay.

15 Types of essays Expository: author exposes certain elements to the reader. This is the type of essay you will be writing for your summative. Cause and effect: Focuses on a condition or situation and asks either why? (cause) or what is the result? (effect).

16 Types of essays Compare and contrast: examines the similarities and differences between two things and comes to a conclusion which is more significant. Argumentative/ persuasive: the author’s opinion on a subject is argued based on reasoning and understanding.

17 Formal versus informal A formal essay has a point. There is something specific the author is trying to do through their essay. An informal essay has only one purpose: to entertain its reader.

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