Story Elements 2011

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    Short Story Literary Elements

    The short story, the only genre developed in America,is a brief fictional work. Because it is meant to be read inone sitting, it usually centers upon one main character andhis conflict, rather than having multiple main plots asnovels do. Writing a good short story requires great skill

    because it must accomplish its purpose in very few words.

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    The setting of a literary work is the time and place ofthe action.

    The setting includes all the details of a place and time the year, the time of day, even the weather. The

    place may be a specific country, state, region,community, neighborhood, building, institution, orhome.

    Details such as dialect, clothing, customs, and modesof transportation are often used to establishsetting.

    In most stories, the setting serves as a backdrop acontext in which the characters interact. Thesetting of a story often helps to create aparticular mood, or feeling.

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    series of related events that make upstory or drama

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    PlotWhat the story is about

    a. expositionsetting and initial incident

    b. rising action the story events after the exposition that buildsuspense and interest

    c. climax high point of suspense or interest; the point at which theplot changes direction

    d. falling action (denouement) the unraveling of eventsafter the


    e. resolution the state of events at the end of the story

    The Plot Triangle

    looks like this!

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    The method the author uses to develop the personality ofthe persons in a story. Personality is the way people think,

    feel, and act. The author may do this by:

    a. Indirect Using your own judgment to decidewhat a character is liked based on evidence given by

    the writer, such as looks, actions, speech, and

    reactions of othersb. Direct describing or explaining the directactions or traits of the character

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    c. Static character does not change much in thecourse of the story

    d. Dynamic character changes as a result of thestorys events

    e. Flat character has no depth; only has one or twotraits and these can be described in a few words

    f. Round character like a real person; has manycharacter traits, which sometimes contradict oneanother; has many faults and virtues

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    PROTAGONISTThe character about whom the storycenters


    Synonym: Main character

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    The character or force opposing the protagonistand creating conflict in the plot.


    Character versus protagonist

    (Character challenges main character.)

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    Point of View-The authors choice of narrator

    a. 1st personA character in the storywho can reveal only his or her feelings and

    thoughts.b. 3rd person objectiveThe narrator can

    only relate what he sees, hears, feels,touches, or smells. It is like looking through

    a window on the scene.c. 3rd person omniscientThe narratorknows everything about the characters and

    can enter their minds and know their

    thoughts and feelings.

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    MOODThe atmosphere created by the author throughsetting, imagery, details, and descriptions (sad, scary,

    funny, etc.)

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    A conversation between two characters

    that is used to reveal character and toadvance the story line or action.

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    A description so vividA description so vividthat it creates athat it creates a

    picture, or image, inpicture, or image, inthe readers mind.the readers mind.

    I felt the tempting white foam of the ocean curlI felt the tempting white foam of the ocean curlaround my frozen heels, beckoning me to join thearound my frozen heels, beckoning me to join thedeep.deep.


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    What are Sensory Details? Descriptive words that appeal (attract

    or influence) to the 5 senses to createword pictures in the readers mind.

    They help the story come alive!!

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    Sensory Details

    Authors use sensory details to make the text morerealistic.

    Sensory details include words that relate to:

    Smells (moldy, stench, lemony)

    Taste (sweet, tart, spicy)

    Touch (smooth, sharp, soft)

    Sights (colors, sizes)

    Sounds (buzz, clang, whisper)

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    Suspense is the growing interest andexcitement readers experience while

    awaiting a climax or resolution in a work ofliterature. It is a feeling of anxiousuncertainty about the outcome of events.Writers create suspense by raising

    questions in the minds of their readers.

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    The theme of a literary work is its centralmessage, concern, or purpose. A theme can

    usually be expressed as a generalization, orgeneral statement, about people or life. Thetheme may be stated directly by the writeralthough it is more often presentedindirectly. When the theme is statedindirectly, the reader must figure out thetheme by looking carefully at what the workreveals about the people or about life.