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Elements of a Short Story

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Presentation on theme: "Elements of a Short Story"— Presentation transcript:

1 Elements of a Short Story
Background Notes

2 What is Fiction? Fiction refers to any works of prose that have imaginary elements. Although fiction can be inspired by actual events and people, it is usually the work of a writers imagination. There are two main types of fiction: novels and short stories. A novel is a long, complex work that can contain many characters, themes, and ideas. A short story is much shorter than a novel, and can usually be read in one sitting. Both novels and short stories are made up of four basic elements: plot, character, setting, and theme.

3 The Elements of a Short Story
The sequence of events in a story is called the plot. Short stories usually have only one plot so they can be read in one sitting. The plot of a story includes four stages: exposition, rising action, climax, and falling action, or resolution. It is often helpful to diagram the plot like a pyramid.

4 Plot Diagram Exposition Rising Action Climax Falling Action Resolution

5 Elements of a Short Story
Plots are almost always built around conflicts, or struggles between opposing forces. There are two main types: Internal conflict, which is a struggle a character has within him/herself. This could be when a character has to overcome some pain or obstacle. External Conflict, which is a struggle a character has with some outside force. It can be a struggle with another person, with his/her environment, or with society and laws.

6 Elements of a Short Story
The people, animals, and other creatures in a story are the characters. There are several different classifications of characters, such as main and minor and static and dynamic. Writers show a character’s traits through three main methods of characterization:

7 Methods of Characterization
By a character’s own thoughts and actions By other character’s thoughts about and actions towards a character By describing a character using carefully chosen details.

8 Elements of a Short Story
The setting of a story is where and when it takes place. A story’s setting could take place in a real or imaginary setting, in the past, present or future. Writers use vivid descriptions of the setting to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Setting can play an important role in what happens to a character and how they respond to problems.

9 Elements of a Short Story
The theme of a story is the message or lesson the writer conveys to the reader. The theme for a story might be “Never give upon your dreams”, or “honesty is always the best policy”. Most themes are not directly stated in a story. A story’s theme can be revealed by: The story’s title Key phrases and statements about big ideas The ways characters change and the lessons they learn about life.

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