Short story elements
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Short Story Elements. Setting, Character, Theme, Conflict, Point of View, and Plot. Setting. The setting is the time and location in which a story takes place

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Short Story Elements

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Short story elements

Short Story Elements

Setting, Character, Theme,

Conflict, Point of View, and Plot


Setting

Setting

  • The setting is the time and location in which a story takes place

  • There are several aspects of a story’s setting to consider when examining how setting contributes to a story: place, time, weather conditions, social conditions, mood or atmosphere


Setting1

Setting

  • Place - geographical location

  • Time – when the story is taking place (historical period, time of day, year, etc.)

  • Weather Conditions – is it raining, sunny, stormy, etc

  • Social Conditions – what is the daily life of a character like, does the writing focus of speech, dress, mannerisms, customs, etc.?

  • Mood or Atmosphere – what feeling is portrayed, bright and cheerful or dark and frightening?


Character

Character

  • There are two meanings for the word character:

    1) the person in a work of fiction

    2) the characteristics of a person


Character1

Character

  • Persons in a work of fiction

  • Antagonist and Protagonist

  • Protagonist is the character at the center of the story with all the major events having some importance to this character

  • Antagonist is the opposer of the main character


Character2

Character

  • The characteristics of a person

  • In order for a story to seem real, the characters must seem real

  • The author must show the character is several ways

    • His/her physical appearance

    • What he/she says, thinks, feels, and dreams

    • What he/she does or does not do

    • What others say about him/her and how others react to him/her


Character3

Character

  • Characters are…

    • Dynamic – many sided personalities that change, for better or worse, by the end of the story

    • Static – stereotype, have one or two characteristics that never change and are emphasized (brilliant detective, drunk, scrooge, cruel stepmother, etc.)


Theme

Theme

  • Theme is the story’s controlling idea or central insight. The author’s underlying meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey.

  • The title usually points to what the writer is saying and may use various figures of speech to emphasize the theme (symbol, allusion, simile, metaphor, hyperbole, or irony).


Theme1

Theme

  • Common themes from literature, film and TV

    • Things are not always what they seem

    • Love is blind

    • Believe in yourself

    • People are afraid of change

    • Don’t judge a book by its cover


Conflict

Conflict

  • Conflict is essential to the plot, without it there is no story

  • It is the opposition of forces which ties one incident to another and makes the plot move


Conflict1

Conflict

  • There are two types of conflict

    • External – a struggle with a force outside one’s self

    • Internal – a struggle within one’s self; a person must make some decision, overcome pain, quiet their temper, resist an urge, etc.


Conflict2

Conflict

  • There are four kinds of conflict

    • Man vs. Man (external) – a character struggles against another character (verbal or physical)

    • Man vs. Nature (external) – a character struggles against fate, weather, animals, etc.

    • Man vs. Society (external) – main character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of other people

    • Man vs. Himself/Herself (internal) – main character struggles with themselves; with their own soul, ideas of right or wrong, physical limitations, choices, etc.


Point of view

Point of View

  • Defined as the angle from which a story is told

    • Innocent Eye - the story is told through the eyes of a child (their judgment being different from that of an adult)

    • Stream of Consciousness – the story is told so that the reader feels as is they are inside the head of one character and knows all their thought and reactions


Point of view1

Point of View

  • First Person – the reader sees the story through this person’s eyes as he/she experiences it and only knows what that character knows and feels (uses pronouns I, me, we, etc.)

  • Third Person - told by a narrator who is merely conveying a story, but not a character of any kind within the story being told (uses he, she, it, or they; but never as I or we [first-person], or you [second-person])


Point of view2

Point of View

  • Limited Third Person - storytelling in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while other characters are presented externally

  • Omniscient - author can move from character to character, event to event, having free access to the thoughts, feelings and motivations of his characters and he introduces information where and when he chooses


Short story elements

Plot

  • Author arranges events to develop his basic ideas

  • Planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end

  • Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution


Short story elements

Plot

  • Climax is a three-fold phenomenon

    • Main character receives new information

    • He/she accepts this information (realizes it but does not necessarily agree with it)

    • Then character acts on this information (makes a choice that will determine whether or not he/she gains his objective)


Bibliography

Bibliography

  • Ms. Engram http://hrsbstaff.ednet.ns.ca/engramja/elements.html

  • About.com: fiction writing


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