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Elements of a Short Story

Elements of a Short Story. Setting – tells us the time and place in which the action of the story occurs. Direct characterization – when the authors comes out and tells us the character traits a character possesses.

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Elements of a Short Story

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  1. Elements of a Short Story

  2. Setting – tells us the time and place in which the action of the story occurs

  3. Direct characterization – when the authors comes out and tells us the character traits a character possesses.

  4. Indirect Characterization – when the author gives us clues about a character’s traits through the character’s speech, actions and what other characters say about him/her(i.e. Story about the man at the Restaurant)

  5. Narrator – the person who tells the story

  6. Protagonist – the main character, who is not necessarily the hero or heroine

  7. Antagonist – the opponent; the opponent may be society, nature, or a person

  8. Round Character – a fully developed character; readers may even be able to anticipate the actions of this type of character(i.e. We can predict what the restaurant man would do if someone cut out in front of him while he was driving)

  9. Flat Character – a character that we know very little about; this type of character is not meant to serve as main characters.(i.e. the family that was witnessing the events at the restaurant)

  10. Static Character – a character who does not change; he/she is the same at the end of the story as he/she was at the beginning of the story

  11. Dynamic character – a character who changes by the end of the story, learning something that changes him/her in a permanent way.(i.e. story about the girl’s opinion about homeless people)

  12. Conflict - the problem or the struggle that starts the action of the story.

  13. Internal conflict – a conflict that takes place within an individual

  14. External conflict – conflict or struggle in which an individual struggles against something outside of himself

  15. Types of Conflicts: • Man vs. Man (External) (i.e. old lady and purse snatcher story) • Man vs. Nature (External) (i.e. Becky falling through the ice chasing her dog) • Man vs. Society (External) (i.e. poor girl not fitting in with the rich girls at a rich school) • Man vs. Self (Internal) (i.e. boy skipping class story)

  16. Plot: the action or sequence of events in a story

  17. Plot Parts • Exposition: characters are introduced, the setting is developed, background information about the story is given • Rising action: events that lead up to the climax; suspense is built • Climax: the turning point of the story; the most dramatic part of the story; suspense reaches its peak • Falling Action: the events that take place after the climax • Resolution: the conflict is resolved & the story is brought to an end

  18. Plot Sequence diagram

  19. The point of view in a work of literature is determined by the narrator, that is, the person telling the story. This narrator may be the author or a character in the story, book, play, or poem.

  20. If the narrator is a character in the story, this is first person point of view. One way to recognize this is the use of the pronoun “I” by the narrator. This is similar to hearing a person tell you about what happened to them personally, or what they saw happen first hand.

  21. If the author is telling the story, this is known as third person point of view. This is characterized by the use of she, he, they, etc. • There are two types of third person points of view.

  22. If the author relates the events of the story from the perspective of only one character, this is known as third person limited point of view. The reader can see into the mind of only one person. • If the author relates the events of the story from the perspective of several characters, this is known as third person omniscient point of view. The reader is privy to the thoughts of several, or even all, of the characters.

  23. Read the following excerpts. Decide which point of view is used in each one and record it on a sheet of paper.

  24. A • Mr. Johnson looked at Charles sternly. He simply didn’t know what to do with this boy. Charles had been in Mr. Johnson’s office twice earlier this week. Now here he was again, and this time he was charged with something much more serious. Mr. Johnson shook his head. There really was no doubt in his mind. Charles was guilty. He looked at the police officer standing next to Charles. No question whatsoever--Charles had done it.

  25. B • I can’t believe what is happening to me. I know that I’ll never convince Mr. Johnson and the cop that I had nothing to do with this. Man! I didn’t do it. Why won’t anyone believe me? I’ve been in trouble before, but I’ve never done anything like this! I’ve got to convince them, or I might as well kiss my life good-bye.

  26. C • Officer Wiley looked at Charles and scratched his head. All the evidence pointed to Charles’s guilt, but the officer just couldn’t be sure. Mr. Johnson, on the other hand, knew that Charles was guilty as sin. His numerous brushes with authority in the past left no question in his mind at all. Charles hung his head, knowing that this time he would not be able to talk his way out of trouble.

  27. D • When I saw them taking Charlie into the office, I lingered outside the door, hoping to find out what he had done this time. Charlie was my best friend, but I was getting a little tired of defending him when I knew he was wrong. He must have done something really big this time to have the cops involved.

  28. Mood: the general feeling in a story. It refers to the emotion or emotions a writer makes a reader feel. Writers create atmosphere or mood by using imagery and vivid descriptions.

  29. Words to Describe Mood: • Cheerful Humorous Peaceful Light • Tense Dark Scary Suspenseful • Terror Apprehensive Anxious Melancholy • Romantic Lonely Sad Dreary • Mysterious Calm Angry Violent • Exciting Cold Fearful

  30. Tone: the attitude or style of expression used to write. • It is HOW things are said…. • We’ve all heard someone say, “Don’t use that tone with me!”—they are referring to HOW something was said.

  31. Words to Describe Tone: • Sarcastic Serious • Rude Thoughtful • Lighthearted Humorous • Comforting Formal • Reassuring Informal • Impolite Friendly • Sympathetic

  32. Suspense: the quality of a story, especially mystery stories, that makes a reader want to know what will happen next

  33. Theme: is the message about life or lesson to be learned that the story gives to the reader. The theme is NOT stated directly by the author.

  34. Verbal Irony: (sarcasm) An author or character says something, but means something else What is said is often the opposite of what is meant. The character is aware of the irony The reader is aware of the irony

  35. Dramatic Irony: • The reader knows something about a character’s situation that the character(s) does NOT know. • The character is unaware of the irony. • The reader IS aware of the irony.

  36. Situational Irony: • What actually happens is not what was expected to happen • Situational irony defies logic. • The character does not expect the outcome. • The reader does not expect the outcome.

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