2 FICTION — NOVELS and SHORT STORIES Elements of Fiction
3 THE SHORT STORYThe SHORT STORY is a work of prose fiction in narrative form.The number of pages is usually limited and can reach a maximum of 70 or 80 but it can also consist of one or two pages or even of a few paragraphs.It shares with the novel such common elements as plot, characters, point of view, theme, but……….IT HAS
4 DISTINCT FEATURES OF ITS OWN BREVITYCOMPRESSION and CONCENTRATION of form and content (one main episode, few characters; one significant event of everyday life)IMMEDIACY (it impresses the reader with immediate and complete images)ECONOMY (the language is usually concise; concrete words and details are used)HOMOGENEITY (despite its brevity, it is a complete and unified whole with all its parts related)
5 ELEMENTS OF PROSE FICTION Author’s PurposeThemePlotSettingCharactersPoint of viewNarratorStyleMood/Atmosphere
6 AUTHOR’S PURPOSEAn author’s reason for creating a particular work is called the author’s purpose. Sometimes the author will state his or her purpose directly. Other times you’ll need to make inferences (reasonable guesses) about the author’s purpose.There are four basic reasons an author might choose to write:to explain or informto entertain ; to shock with an unexpected conclusionto persuadeto enlighten or reveal an important truth
7 THEMEThe THEME is the central idea, message, concern or purpose which lies behind the story and gives unity to the events described. It’s the main point.You will need to infer what the theme is from the work’s title, key scenes, characters, symbols and plot events.
8 PLOTPLOT:Plot is the action of a story. It is the series of related events that the author describes from the beginning of the story to the end. Most plots follow a chronological order. In other words, they proceed in the order in which the events happen.
9 PLOTPlot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows arrangement of events and actions within a story.
10 Plot ComponentsClimax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in actionRising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climaxFalling Action: all of the action which follows the climaxExposition: 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 startsResolution: the conclusion
11 SETTING The place and time - where and when - the story takes place. Understanding a story’s setting (setting as time and as cultural context) and its effects can give you a context for the events of the plot. It can also give you clues about the mood, or atmosphere of a story, or insights to characters and provides connections to the other aspects of the story.
12 The Functions of a Setting To create a mood or atmosphereTo make action seem more realTo be the source of conflict or struggleTo symbolize an ideaTo show a reader a different way of life
14 CHARACTERA character is a person, an animal, or an imaginary creature that takes part in the action of a story.A character can be “flat” (simple); “round” (complex); static; developingSometimes the author will directly describe a character’s appearance, personality, or feelings.DIRECT CHARACTERIZATIONOther times the author will leave clues and expect you to draw conclusions about what the character is like.INDIRECT CHARARACTERIZATION
15 CHARACTERIZATION: Physical appearance and personality An author can give information about a character by describing several aspects of the character:Physical appearance and personalitySpeech, behaviour and actionsBackground, thoughts and feelingsInteractions with other characters
16 CHARACTER TYPESMost stories have both main and minor characters.The main character, or protagonist, is the most important character. The action of the plot revolves around him or her.Often the antagonist, the person or thing working against the protagonist, is also a main character.
17 POINT OF VIEW The point of view is the perspective from which the events in a novel or short story are presented.the story can be told in the first person by one of the characters him/herselfthe novelist can tell the story as an omniscient narrator, moving from character to characterhe can tell the story in the third person, but from the point of view of one character only
18 NARRATOROmniscient Point of View: the story is told in third person by a narrator who has unlimited knowledge of events/characters.S/He forces the reader to share his/her opinion and point of view.First-person Point of View: the story is told by one of the characters. The author disappears into one of them. The character uses pronouns such as I or we and usually participates in much of the action. Of course, the point of view is limited.Third-person Limited Point of View: the story is told by a narrator but from the point of view of a character in the story. POV is limited to the character’s perceptions and shows no direct knowledge of what other characters are thinking, feeling, or doing.The non-omniscient narrator is always a third person or persons; may be the author who refers the events without commenting on them or various characters of the story, who look at facts from different points of view, offering the readers different interpretations.
19 STYLEStyle is the way writers express their ideas. It’s how they say something, not what they say. Style involves these three elements:Word choiceRhythm: the pattern of flow and movement created by the choice of words and the structure and arrangement of sentences. Rhythm is directly affected by the length and composition of sentences, the use of pauses within sentences, the use of repetitionLiterary devices, such as figurative language, symbols, dialogue, and imagery
20 MOOD and ATMOSPHEREThe mood is the feeling created in the reader while reading. Writer uses many devices to create mood, including images, dialogue, setting, and plot.It’s the atmosphere that’s created. Writers can choose words, phrases and images to create a whole range of moods - from anger and sadness to excitement, fear and suspense.
21 SUSPENSEThe growing interest and excitement readers experience while they are waiting for the CLIMAX (the point of greatest emotional intensity)It’s a feeling of anxious uncertainty about the outcome of events.HOW to CREATE A SUSPENSE ATMOSPHERE?by arousing readers’ curiosity and affecting strongly their expectations through a series of incidents rising to an exciting climax
22 Plot: ConflictConflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.
23 Plot and Structure 1The plot is not merely the action itself, but the way the author arranges the action toward a specific end (structure).Important elements of Plot:*Conflict- A clash of actions, ideas, desires, or willsTypes of Conflict: Person vs. Person, Person vs. Environment, Person vs. Self.*Protagonist- The central character in a conflict*Antagonist- Any force arranged against the protagonist- whether persons, things, conventions of society, or the protagonists own personality traits.*Suspense- The quality in a story that makes readers ask “what’s going to happen next?”. In more literary forms of fiction the suspense involves more “why” than “what”. Usually produced through two devices; either mystery (an unusual set of circumstances for which the reader craves an explanation) or dilemma (a position in which a character must choose between two courses of action, both undesirable.)
24 Plot and Structure 2Artistic unity- Essential for a good plot. There must be nothing in the story that is irrelevant, that does not contribute to the meaning. Each event should grow out of the preceding one and lead logically to the next. The work should have a quality of natural inevitability, given the specific set of characters and the initial situation.*Deus Ex Machina- Latin for “God from a machine”. The saving of the protagonist from an impossible situation. A form of plot manipulation.Endings-*Happy Ending- Everything ends well for our protagonist. More often used in commercial fiction.*Unhappy Ending- Most instances in life do not have pleasant ends, so literary fiction that tries to emulate life is more apt to have an unhappy conclusion. These endings force the reader to contemplate the complexities of life.*Indeterminate Ending- No definitive ending is reached. This leaves the reader to ponder the many issues raised through the story without being handed a neat solution.
25 SymbolismA symbol is something concrete—such as a person, place, or object—that signifies something more than just itself, something abstract, such as a concept or an idea.Some symbols you will probably be familiar with already.A heart symbolizes love and affectionA dove symbolizes peace and freedom