Creative Writing -Short Story Elements
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- 1. Short Story Elements: Terms to Know
- 2. the geographical location the time period the socio-economic characteristics and the culture the specific place Setting www.readwritethink.org Where the story takes place
- 3. That evening T.J. smelled the air, his nostrils dilating with the odor of the earth under his feet. Its spring, he said, and there was a gladness rising in his voice that filled us with all the same feeling. Its mighty late for it, but its spring.We were all sniffing at the air, too, trying to smell it the way that T.J. did, and I can still remember the sweet odor of the earth under our feet. It was the first time in my life that spring and spring earth had meant anything to me. --From Antaeus by Borden Deal Setting Can be used to tell readers about the characters: www.readwritethink.org
- 4. During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country. --From The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe Setting Can be used to set up the atmosphere, or mood, for a story: www.readwritethink.org
- 5. Round Characters - true to life; many personality traits. Dynamic Characters - change or develop Flat Characters stereotypical; one or two personality traits. Static Characters stay the same www.readwritethink.org people (or animals, places, things that are presented as people) Characters
- 6. ANTAGONIST The character who opposes the protagonist. Does not have to be the bad guy. PROTAGONIST The main character in a literary work. The characther who begins the action. Does not have to be the good guy. www.readwritethink.org
- 7. DIRECT CHARACTERIZATION (TELLS) Jack had been in basic training in Florida and Dottie was there on vacation with her parents. Theyd met on the beach and struck up a conversation. Dottie was the talker, the outgoing onethe extrovert. Jack was too shy around girls to say much at all. - From Furlough1944 by Harry Mazer www.readwritethink.org Methods of Characterization
- 8. INDIRECT CHARACTERIZATION (SHOWS) Remember STEAL! www.readwritethink.org Methods of Characterization Speech What does the character say? How does the character speak? Thoughts What is revealed through the characters private thoughts and feelings? Effect on others How do other characters feel and/or behave in reaction to the character? Actions What does the character do? How does the characters behave? Looks/ appearance What does the character look like? How does the character dress?
- 9. www.readwritethink.org Examples of Indirect Characterization from The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
- 10. www.readwritethink.org Speech Many of the words spoken by the cat at the beginning of the story have an upbeat connotative meaning. But we can have Lots of fun that is funny! (7). What does this tell us about the cat?
- 11. www.readwritethink.org Thoughts So all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! And we did not like it. Not one little bit (3). What does this tell us about the narrator? These are the thoughts of the narrator as he stares out the window on a rainy day.
- 12. www.readwritethink.org Effect on Others Throughout the first of the story, three different illustrations portray the fish scowling at the cat immediately after each of the cats activities. When the cat returns to clean up his mess at the end of the story, the fish is shown with a smile. What does this tell us about the cat?
- 13. www.readwritethink.org Actions The cat engages in UP-UP-UP with a fish (18). Then, later in the story, the cat releases two things that fly kites in the house. What does this tell us about the cat?
- 14. www.readwritethink.org Looks Throughout the first of the story, the cat is shown with a smile on his face. Towards the end of the story, however, when the cat is told to leave, he is shown leaving the house with slumped shoulders and a sad face. What does this tell us about the cat?
- 15. the structure of a story; the arrangement of events and actions www.readwritethink.org Plot
- 16. www.readwritethink.org Plot Components Exposition: the start of the story; introduction of setting, characters, conflict Resolution: the conclusion; loose ends are wrapped up Climax: the turning point; the most intense moment either in emotion or in action Rising Action: series of conflicts that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action that follows the climax
- 17. events that happened before the time of the current story memories dreams and stories told by characters www.readwritethink.org Flashback
- 18. hints and clues suggesting what will happen later in the story often used to build suspense or tension in a story What does this suggest is going to happen? www.readwritethink.org Foreshadowing
- 19. Without Conflict, there would be no plot. The dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. www.readwritethink.org Conflict = Plot
- 20. www.readwritethink.org External Conflict 1. Character vs. Character 2. Character vs. Nature 3. Character vs. Society 4. Character vs. Fate or Time
- 21. INTERNAL CONFLICT Character vs. Self www.readwritethink.org
- 22. www.readwritethink.org Point Of View The perspective from which the story is told. Who is telling the story? How do we know what is happening?
- 23. As I walked up the hill, I realized that the atmosphere was just too quiet. There was no sound from the cardinal who was nearly always singing from the top of the maple tree. I thought I saw a shadow move high up on the slope, but when I looked again it was gone. Still, I shuddered as I felt a silent threat pass over me like a cloud over the sun. PointofViewExamplesCopyright2003LeighMichaels First-Person POV the thoughts and perspective of one main character
- 24. As she walked up the hill, she realized that the atmosphere was just too quiet. There was no sound from the cardinal who she so often heard singing from the top of the maple tree. She thought she saw a shadow move high up on the slope, but when she looked again it was gone. Nevertheless, she shuddered as she felt a silent threat pass over her. It felt like a cloud creeping over the sun. As the girl walked up the hill, she realized that the atmosphere was just too quiet. The cardinal tipped his head back and drew breath to sing, but just as the first note passed his beak he heard the crack of a dead branch far below his perch high in the maple tree. Startled, he looked down, cocking his head to one side and watching with great interest while the man rattled the blades of grass as he tried to hide himself behind the tree. PointofViewExamplesCopyright2003LeighMichaels Third-Person POV Third-Person Limited thoughts and perspective of one main character Third-Person Omniscient all-knowing; thoughts and perspective of all characters
- 25. The girl walked up the quiet hillside. In the top of the maple tree, the cardinal tipped his head back and drew breath to sing. A dead branch cracked on the ground below the bird's perch. The man stepped on the branch and rattled the blades of grass as he moved behind the tree. He watched the girl come up the hillside toward him. Her gaze shifted quickly and warily from one shadowy area high on the slope to another, and she shuddered. PointofViewExamplesCopyright2003LeighMichaels Third-Person Objective journalists point of view facts without thoughts and feelings
- 26. Central idea or message of the story Insight into the human condition Can be either stated or implied www.readwritethink.org Theme THEME STATEMENT (not a topic) Topic = Trust Theme = Trust can never be regained once it is lost.