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What makes an effective short story?

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Presentation on theme: "What makes an effective short story?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What makes an effective short story?
Short Stories What makes an effective short story? Presentation and brain-based interactions developed by Heather Deal, JFMS, 2008

2 What is a short story? Definition: a brief work of fiction
Presents a sequence of events Deals with a central conflict faced by a main character Communicates a message about life or human nature

3 What are the elements of a short story?
Setting Characters Conflict Plot Theme

4 Setting is… Definition: The time and place of the action in a story.
Sometimes it serves as a backdrop to the story. At other times it can be the main source of the story’s conflict. Setting helps create the mood, or feeling, of the story.

5 Characters are… Definition: The people or animals that take part in the action. Character traits are the qualities and attitudes that a character possesses. Examples: dependability and intelligence Character motives or motivation are the reasons for a character’s actions. Motives can come from internal causes, such as loneliness, or external causes, such as danger. Characterization: The way a writer reveals the characters. In direct characterization, the author simply states what they want you to know about the character. With indirect characterization, the author shows the character through the character’s words and actions.

6 Conflict is… Definiton: a struggle between opposing forces.
Internal conflict: takes place in the mind of a character External conflict: takes place when a character struggles with another person or an outside force. Types of conflict: Man versus man, man versus self, and man versus nature, man versus society

7 Plot is… Definition: the sequence of events in a story.
Interactive Plot Diagram Exposition introduces the setting, the characters, and the situation. Rising Action introduces the conflict or problem and the first events. Climax is the turning point of the story. Falling Action is the part of the story when the conflict begins to lessen. Resolution is the story’s conclusion.

8 Theme is… Definition: the main message expressed in a story.
Theme may be stated (expressed directly by the author) or indirect (suggested by what happens to the characters). Universal theme is a repeating message about life that is expressed regularly across time and cultures. Examples: Hard work pays off in the end. Old age brings wisdom.

9 Literary Devices are… Definition: tools that writers use to make their stories more interesting, more lifelike, or more entertaining. Point of View is the perspective from which a story is told. First Person point of view presents the story from the perspective of a character in the story. Third person point of view tells the story from the perspective of a narrator outside the story. An omniscient third-person narrator is someone who knows everything that happens. He or she can tell the reader what each character thinks and feels. A limited third-person narrator is someone who can reveal the thoughts and feelings of only one character.

10 Other Literary Devices…
Foreshadowing is the use of clues to hint at events yet to come in a story. Flashback it the use of scenes that interrupt the time order of a story to reveal past events. Irony is the contrast between actual outcome and what a reader or a character expects to happen. Types of irony include situational, verbal, and dramatic. Dialect is the form of a language that people speak in a certain region or group.

11 The End!

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