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The Elements of Fiction. Setting. The setting is the place where the story take place. Setting includes the following: Geographical location (i.e. Wyoming, London, Cairo, Vancouver) The time period (i.e. 1865, during WWII, today)

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The setting is the place where the story take place. Setting includes the following:

  • Geographical location (i.e. Wyoming, London, Cairo, Vancouver)
  • The time period (i.e. 1865, during WWII, today)
  • The socio-economic characteristics of the location (i.e. wealthy, suburbs, the Depression)
  • The specific building, room, and so forth (i.e. a prep school, a log cabin, a bus, a military base)

The people (or animals, things, etc. presented as people) appearing in a literary work.

  • Round Characters are convincing, true to life. Have many different and sometimes even contradictory personality traits.
  • Dynamic Characters undergo some type of change or development in story, often because of something that happens to them.
  • Flat Characters are stereotyped, shallow, and often symbolic. Have only one or two personality traits.
  • Static Characters do not change in the course of the story.


The main character in a literary work (i.e. Cinderella or Snow White in the fairy tales named for their characters)


The character who opposed the protagonist (i.e. the wicked stepmother in Cinderella)

methods of characterization
Methods of Characterization

Direct Characterization

The author develops the personality of a character by direct statements.

Indirect Characterization

The author reveals a character’s personality through

-the character’s thoughts, words, and actions

-the comments of other characters

-the character’s physical appearance


Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of the story. It shows arrangement of events and actions within a story.

plot components
Plot Components

Climax: the turning point,

the most intense moment-

either mentally or in action

Rising Action: the series of

conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax

Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climas

Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all the threads.

Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action


plot conflict
Plot: Conflict

Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

plot types of conflict
Plot: Types of Conflict

Interpersonal Conflict

Human vs. Human

Human vs. Nature

Human vs. Society

Internal Conflict

Human vs. Self

point of view
Point of View

The perspective from which the story is told.

-Who is telling the story? (i.e. is it a player on the home team or someone watching the game?)

-How do we know what is happening? (i.e. does a character tell us?)

types of point of view
Types of Point of View

Omniscient Point of View: the author is telling the story

Limited Omniscient Point of View: third person told from the view point of a character in the story.

First Person Point of View: told from the viewpoint of one of the characters using the first person pronoun “I”.

  • Theme is the central idea or central message of the story. It usually contains some insight into the human condition—telling something about humans and life.
  • The theme can be stated directly or implied by the events and actions in the story.

A symbol represents an idea, quality, or concept larger than itself

A journey can symbolize life

A lion can be a symbol of courage

A red rose can represent love.