Elements of a Short Story

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Elements of a Elements of a Short Story Short Story

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Elements of a Short Story. OBJECTIVES. Identify elements of a short story Define elements of a short story Demonstrate mastery of short story elements. OVERVIEW. Short stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Elements of a Short Story

  • Elements of a Short Story


    Identify elements of a short storyDefine elements of a short storyDemonstrate mastery of short story elements

  • OVERVIEWShort stories often contain structural and character elements that should be familiar to you.

    These elements can be used as guides to help you think about the actions, themes, and contexts of the story.

  • Theme



    Point of view

    CharacterizationPlot - exposition statement - rising action - conflict - climax - falling action - resolution

  • THEMEThe main idea of a literary work, usually expressed as a generalization and in sentence form. Example: Forgiveness is the key to true happiness.SETTING The time and place in which the story is set.

  • CHARACTERSThe point of writing stories: telling us what human beings are like. Characters allow readers to see life from different perspectives and to meet new (or familiar) people.Characters in the plot connect us with the vastness of our secret life, which is endlessly explorable. Eudora Welty

  • CHARACTERIZATIONThe description of the personalities of the characters in the story and the ways in which authors reveal their personalities:SpeechThoughtsEffect on other charactersActionLooks

  • PLOTThe sequence or order of events in a story, each event connected to the next like a chain. Each event in a plot hooks our curiosity and pulls us forward to the next event.

    Suspense builds as the series of related events hook our curiosity.

    The plot includes the following (4) parts:

  • Types of Linear PlotsChronological


    In media res (in the middle of things): when the story starts in the middle of the action without an exposition.


    Rising Action

    Falling ActionResolution Climax Exposition Conflict

  • 1. Basic Situation/ExpositionExposition Statement This is the part of the plot that tells how the story begins. The character, conflict, and setting are usually introduced.

    Example ~ CinderellaThe basic situation shows us Cinderella, a beautiful and good heroine, in a conflict with her evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters.

  • 2. Rising Action/ComplicationThe part of the story in which the main character takes some action to resolve the conflict and meets with problems or complications: danger, fear, hostility, etc.Example ~ CinderellaCinderella wants to go to the ball. Her stepmother says No, but a Fairy Godmother promises to get her to the ball if she obeys one rule: Be home by midnight. Cinderella goes to the ball, the Prince falls in love with her, she flees at midnight, and she loses one of her glass slippers.

  • 3. ClimaxClimax: the KEY scene of the storyThat tense or exciting moment when we realize what the outcome of the conflict is going to be. Example ~ CinderellaThe Prince makes a house-to-house search for the foot that fits the slipper and finds that foot on Cinderella.

  • 4. Falling Action(s)All of the action which follows the climaxExample ~ Cinderella:Cinderella and the prince make preparations for their wedding.

  • 5. Resolution/DenouementThe final part of the story. (The French word, denouement, means unraveling the knot).You learn how the conflict is resolved and what happens to the characters.Example ~ CinderellaCinderella marries the Prince and they live happily ever after. In the original Girmm story, you also learn that ravens peck out the eyes of the evil stepmother.

  • Conflict = Struggle

  • ConflictExternal Conflict:Conflict between a character and another person OR a character and something non-human.- Man vs. Man- Man vs. Society- Man vs. Nature

  • ConflictInternal Conflict: Conflict takes place inside a characters mind

    Man vs. Himself (fears, self-doubts, etc.)

  • CONCLUSION Now that we have identified and defined the elements of a short story, let us use the elements to analyze the short story by Ray Bradbury, The Pedestrian. You may use your notes from the PowerPoint presentation.

  • BibliographyDinneen, K. Elements of the Short Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003, from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute: http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1983/3/83.03.09.x.html Five Elements of a Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003, http://www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson-2277.html Guevin, D. Short Story Elements. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003, http://www.uvm.edu/~dguevin/Elements.htmlAnderson, Robert, Et. al. Elements of Literature. Austin: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1989.