Story Elements

January 9, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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Short Description

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Short Story A short story is: •a work of fiction that is shorter and more limited than the novel,

•usually focuses on one important event in the lives of a small number of main characters, •author’s purpose is to entertain, •varies in length, but is usually short enough to be read in one sitting.

Plot Development

Plot Diagram

Plot: The sequence of events in a story.


Exposition: the author introduces the characters, creates the setting, and introduces the conflict.

Exposition Setting: Setting: Includes where and when the story takes place. How setting is expressed: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Place Time of day Weather Seasons Type of People Kinds of clothing Smells, sounds

Exposition Character: Character: Person, animal, or imaginary creature that plays a role in the story.

Types of Characters: Protagonist: main character in the story, hero(ine). Antagonist: character that causes the initial conflict . . . The bad guy or gal

Round: character with many personalities. He/she has many strengths and weaknesses. Flat: this character usually has one kind of personality, such as only good or only evil. Often, less important in the story.

Dynamic: this character changes because of what happens to him or her in the story. Often this character learns as a result of an event in the story.

Static: This character stays the same throughout the story.

Conflict: Conflict: A struggle or clash between two opposing forces.

Conflict: Internal Conflict:

External Conflict:

Struggle occurs within the character

Struggle occurs between the character and an outside force.

Man vs. Self Man vs. Man Man vs. Society Man vs. Nature

Rising Action & Climax

As they say in writing and reading circles . . . the plot thickens!!!

Plot Diagram: Rising Action

Rising Action: a series of crises, events or turning points that build tension towards the climax.

Plot Diagram: Climax


Climax: The most intense or crucial moment or event when the tension reaches a peak.

Rising Action: The stairs leading up to the top. There are many stairs that lead there. Climax: You have reached the top of the stairs after a long climb. This is the highest point with the most excitement.

Falling Action & Resolution

Plot Diagram: Falling Action

Falling Action: The story examines the consequences or outcomes of the climax and the tension fades.

Falling Action: After reaching the climax, the stairs lead back down. There may be many stairs or just a few that lead there. Resolution: The problem or conflict is solved. The last puzzle piece is put into place.

Plot Diagram: Resolution

Resolution: How the story’s main problem or conflict is resolved; bringing the conflict to an end.

Theme • Theme is the underlying meaning of the story, a universal truth, a significant statement the story is making about society, human nature, or the human condition.

Possible Theme Topics: Betrayal Courage Loyalty Fear Freedom Friendship Happiness Honesty Perseverance

Point of View Perspective from which the story is told. 1st person: In the first person point of view, the narrator is a character in the story. He/She will use pronouns like “I” “we” “. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. We should question the trustworthiness of the accounting.

3rd Person : Here the narrator does not participate in the action of the story as one of the characters, but lets us know exactly how the characters feel. We learn about the characters through this outside voice.

Omniscient Points of View A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.

Limited Points of View A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited omniscient point of view. As you read a piece of fiction think about these things: •How does the point of view affect your responses to the characters? •How is your response influenced by how much the narrator knows and how objective he or she is? •First person narrators are not always trustworthy. •It is up to you to determine what is the truth and what is not.

“Tell-Tale Heart” By Edgar Allan Poe Poe was born in Boston. He was a poet, writer, editor, and literary critic. His short stories were his main type of writing, and today they are considered some of the best American short stories in history. His tales usually are a mix of mystery and macabre (grim and dealing with death). Poe married his 13-year old cousin, Virginia Clemm. Her early death may have inspired some of his writing. Poe’s best known fiction are Gothic (horror and romance ) in order to appeal to the public’s tastes at the time.

born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts— died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland


Vocabulary Resembled – looked like Distinctly – clearly

Cunning – slyly, carefully, cautiously Hideous – very ugly or frightful “I think it was his eye. Yes, it was his eye! One of his eyes was pale blue and dull. It resembled the eye of a vulture.”

“The Tell-Tale Heart” is a fun little horror story where the narrator is driven almost insane because of his obsession with an old man’s creepy eye! The narrator thinks he’s perfectly sane and tries to convince the reader throughout the story. He is suffering from extreme paranoia and mental health issues.

Ask yourself: What point of view is the story in?

Ask yourself: Whose heart does he really hear beating?

Direct vs. Indirect Characterization Direct Characterization is: the writer makes direct statements about a character's personality: • tells what the character is like.

Indirect Characterization is: the writer reveals information about a character and his personality through that character's: • thoughts, words, and actions, • how other characters respond to that character, including what they think and say about him.

Indirect Characterization: Characterization: “ThatDirect Ed Johnson,” said Anderson, watching the Ed Johnson scratched his head in confusion old mechanic scratch his head in confusion as therep sales rep explained Dralco’s the as sales explained Dralco’s newestnewest engine engine performance diagnostic“He computer. performance diagnostic computer. hasn’t got The old mechanic hated modern a clue about modern electronics. Giveelectronics, him a good preferring old days when all manuals he needed set of tools andthe a stack of yellowing with was a stack of manuals good of tools. a carburetor needing repair, and a he’d be set happy as a hungry frog in a fly-field.”

Ervin II, Terry . "Fiction Factor - Direct vs. Indirect Characterization." Fiction Factor - Writing Tips for Fiction Writers. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2010.
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