Unit 1: The Power of Storytelling Part A: Narrative Structures. Literary Elements and Language Terms Set #1. Part A: Narrative Literary Elements – Characters, Point of View, Conflict, and Plot. I. What is a Narrative?.
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Part A: Narrative Structures
Narrative: a piece of writing that tells of a related series of events (a story)
Characters: The people/actors in a story.
Characterization: The process by which writers reveal their characters’ traits (qualities)
ex. “Jennifer was a bright and honest young lady.”
Flat: One-dimensional (paper doll); one or two personality traits only (usually the “bad guy”)
Round: 3-dimensional; many traits and complexities (usually the main character)
Stock: stereotypical character
Ex. Marie Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond”
Dynamic Character: a character that changes in an important way
- Remember – “Dynamite” EXPLODES
Static Character: does not undergo a major change in the story
- Remember – “static” television set
Motivation: The reasons for a character’s behavior
- This requires you to make inferences based on characterization!
2. Third Person Limited: The narrator, who is almost never a character in the story, zooms in on the thoughts of just one or a select few characters
Clash between a character and an outside force – with another person, object, or entity.
A struggle within a character’s mind
1. Exposition: introduces the setting, characters, and any necessary background
2. Inciting Moment/Incident: An event occurs that initiates the main action and begins the primary conflict in the story.
3. Rising Action: Presents complications that intensify the conflict; builds suspense as we wonder what the outcome will be.
4. Climax: The turning point in the story and the moment of greatest suspense
5. Falling Action: The events that occur as a result of the climax, but before the primary problem created in the inciting moment has been resolved.
6. Resolution: The main problem created by the inciting moment/incident is solved.
7. Denouement: The “where are they now.” The author ties up any loose ends and answers any remaining questions.
1. Linear Plot: Goes in chronological order – the events are told in the order in which they happened (Goes in order of Freytag’s Pyramid without deviation)
2. Non-Linear Plot: Events are NOT revealed in the order that they occurred, but in some other order that the writer chooses
Sensory Language: Words and phrases that appeal to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and/or taste. Sensory details create…
Imagery: Vivid descriptions that re-create sensory experiences for the reader, creating “word pictures”
Ex: “a thundering downpour of rain”
To what senses does this example appeal? What image does it create?
Mood: The feeling or atmosphere that the writer creates for the reader using imagery and setting details.
What senses do the following details appeal to, and what image and mood do they create all together?
Diction: Word choice
Denotation: The dictionary or literal meaning of a word.
Ex: Plump = a full, round, and pleasing figure
Connotation: All the meanings, associations, or feelings that a word suggests.
Ex: Fat = while similar in denotative meaning to plump, it has a very harsh and mean connotation
Why study diction?
Examine the diction in the following sentences. What are the connotations here? Which sentence has a more positive connotation, and which has a more negative connotation?
Examine the diction in the following sentences. What are the connotations here? Which has a more positive emotional connotation?
Categorize the following words as having a positive, negative, or neutral connotation.
Friendly Clever House
Dislike Love Home
Sincere Infatuation Admit
Tone: The writer’s/speaker’s attitude toward his/her subject or audience. This is described by a single adjective (ex. a sarcastic tone, a playful tone, a bitter tone) and can be figured out by examining the diction and the choice of details in a text.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO CONFUSE
TONE WITH MOOD!
You are now responsible for knowing and being able to apply the literary terms in this lesson. Most of them are review, so study them carefully and be sure you know them!