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The Short Story . What is a Short Story?. A short fictional narrative; the plots are generally brief and uncomplicated. What is the Plot?. Plot: Series of related events that make up a story (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution). Characterization.

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what is a short story
What is a Short Story?
  • A short fictional narrative; the plots are generally brief and uncomplicated.
what is the plot
What is the Plot?
  • Plot: Series of related events that make up a story (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution)
  • The creation and development of a character(s); often the reader learns about the character through description, dialogue, actions, or reactions
  • Direct Characterization
    • The author directly tells/stateswhat the character’s personality is like or what the character looks like. Example: cruel, kind
  • Indirect Characterization
    • The author showsa character’s personality through his/her actions, thoughts, feelings, words, appearance or other character’s observations or reactions
  • Character – a person in a story, poem, or play
    • Main Character- the most important character in a story, often called the protagonist
    • Minor Character- the other characters in a story who interact with the main character and help move the story along
  • Types of Characters:
    • Round- a character who is fully developed, has many different character traits (dynamic)
    • Flat- a character who is often stereotyped, one-dimensional, few traits (static)
    • Static – a character who does not change (flat)
    • Dynamic– a character who changes as a result of the story's events (round)
  • Types of Characters (continued):
    • Stock- a type of flat character who falls into an immediate recognizable category or type (absent-minded professor, dumb blonde)
    • Secondary- a supporting character; while not prominent the character is important to the events in the story
    • Tragic- a character who posses a flaw or commits an error in judgment which leads to his or her downfall or reversal of fortune
  • The hero or main character of the story; he or she will often go through a change- death is not a change
    • the most important character
    • changes and grows because of experiences in the story
  • A major character who opposes the protagonist
    • the antagonist does not change
  • Types of antagonists:
    • people
    • nature
    • society
  • Section of a story which introduces the characters, the setting, and the conflict(s)
  • A struggle between two opposing forces. It produces tension and drives the action of the plot
  • Types
    • Internal – takes place within a character
      • Man vs. Him(Her)self
    • External – a character struggles against an outside force
      • Man vs. Man
      • Man vs. Nature
      • Man vs. technology, progress
      • Man vs. Society
      • Man vs. Supernatural
  • When and where a story takes place
rising action
Rising Action
  • A series of complications which reveals the problem or conflict in a story
  • These occur when the main characters take action to resolve their problems and are met with further problems:
    • Fear
    • Hostility
    • Threatening situation
  • The turning point in the story: the high point of interest and/or suspense


Rising Action or Complications

Falling Action

falling action
Falling Action
  • All events following the climax or turning point in the story. These events are a result of the action taken at the climax.
  • The end of the central conflict: it shows how the situation turns out and ties up loose ends
  • Also called the Denoument
point of view
Point of View
  • Vantage point from which a story is told
    • First person- Told by a narrator who is a character in the story and uses the pronoun “I”
    • First person unreliable- a narrator who is biased and doesn’t give an accurate picture of the events due to youth, madness, or inexperience
    • Second person- Rarely used, the story is told using the pronoun “you,” which casts the reader as a character in the story
point of view1
Point of View
  • Third person limited- Told by the narrator who uses third person pronouns (he, she, it). This narrator usually is privy to the thoughts and actions of one character
  • Third person omniscient- told by the narrator using third person pronouns. This narrator is privy to the thoughts and actions of all the characters
  • Objective narrator- a narrator/character who recounts only what characters say and do offering no insight to their thinking or analysis of events
  • The central idea or lesson about life that an author conveys in a piece of literature; sometimes the them is obvious, in most stories the them is not directly stated. It is conveyed through the character’s thoughts, actions, or sequence of events.
  • A scene in a narrative that is set in the present but is interrupted to a previous time. Allows the reader to see actions that occurred in the past that may or may not have effected a character’s behavior.
  • A plot device in which future events are hinted at
  • The writer puts clues in the story to give the reader a hint of what is to come
  • An object, person, or event that functions as itself, but also stands for something more than itself
    • Example: A scales function is to weigh things,

but they are also a symbol

of our justice system

figurative language
Figurative Language
  • Involves some imaginative comparison between two unlike things:
    • Simile – comparing two unlike things using like or as
      • “I wandered lonely as a cloud”
    • Metaphor – comparing two unlike things (not using like or as)
      • Life is a roller coaster, it has lots of ups and downs
figurative language1
Figurative Language
  • Personification – Giving human qualities to non-human things
    • “The wind howled”
  • A contrast between appearances and reality- usually one in which reality is the opposite of what is expected; to say one thing but mean another
  • Verbal Irony – occurs when a speaker says one thing but means something else; sarcasm
  • Situational Irony – A contradiction between what we expect to happen and what really does happen in a story
  • Dramatic Irony – occurs when the reader knows something important that the characters in the story do not know
  • A reference in a story or poem to another work of literature, art, history, current event, famous person, or place.
  • A literary device that uses tension to make the plot more exciting; uncertainty or anxiety the reader feels about what is going to happen next in a story
  • Language that appeals to the senses, a mental picture
    • Touch
    • Taste
    • Sight
    • Sound
    • Smell