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.
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 actionsBy other character’s thoughts about and actions towards a characterBy 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 titleKey phrases and statements about big ideasThe ways characters change and the lessons they learn about life.