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Elements of Fiction. Theme. Plot. Setting. Characterization. Click for Guidelines. Narration.

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elements of fiction
Elements of Fiction





Click for Guidelines


Click on the link above each finger to discover one of the five aspects of the elements of fiction. Then, in the Literary Terms section of your notebook, draw a hand and copy the definition at each digit of the hand. Click on the home icon on each page to return here.

  • Simply put, plot is what happens in the story. Some call it the storyline.
  • When doing an Elements of fiction hand, describe the plot in ten words or less without revealing the plot’s climax or resolution.
  • It’s the moral or main idea of the story. Themes do not provide any plot developments and apply to many types of stories in almost any genre.
  • When doing an elements of fiction hand, state the theme in five words or less. Often it can be stated in one word.
  • The main character in a story is called the protagonist. She or he is always involved in the main conflict and its resolution.
  • The person opposing the protagonist is called the antagonist.
  • When doing an Elements of Fiction hand, use the methods of characterization (flat, round, dynamic, or static) to describe the protagonists and antagonists in the story.

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  • First Person Point of View: The narrator tells the story and is a character in the story. (Pronouns: I, me, us, we, our, etc.)
  • Third Person Omniscient: The narrator is not a character in the story but can tell you the thoughts and actions of all characters at all times. (Pronouns: he, she, him, her, they, them, etc.)
  • Third Person Limited: The narrator is not a character in the story but can tell you the thoughts and actions of a few key characters at all times. (Pronouns: he, she, him, her, they, them, etc.)
  • The setting provides us with the when and where the story took place. In addition, the context or historical background in which the story is set provides us with additional plot information.
  • When doing an Elements of Fiction Hand, use the three W’s of setting When = the timeframe, Where = place or location, and Why = the context in which the story is set
  • When creating an Elements of Fiction Hand, please follow these guidelines
  • Trace your hand or use a graphic on a blank piece of paper
  • Be sure to label each digit with one of the elements of fiction
  • Where needed, provide names of characters, places, dates, times, locations, etc.
  • No lined paper: must be in color
  • As always, be creative and try to do something original and unusual
methods of characterization
Methods of Characterization
  • On a new page in the “Literary Terms” section of your notebook, title it “Methods of Characterization” and copy the information from the following slides.
flat characterization
Flat Characterization
  • A character who has one or two sides, representing one or two traits—often a stereotype. Flat characters help move the plot along more quickly because the audience immediately understands what the character is about.
  • Example: Like a geeky science professor
round characterization
Round Characterization
  • A character who is complex and has many sides or traits with unpredictable behavior and a fully developed personality. Antagonists are usually a round characterization.
  • Example: Like The Green Goblin (Norman Osborn)
dynamic characterization
Dynamic Characterization
  • A character who experiences an essential change in personality or attitude. Protagonists are almost always dynamic.
  • Example: Stitch, from Lilo andStitch
static characterization
Static Characterization
  • A character who does not change or develop beyond the way in which she or he is first presented.
  • Example: Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird.
types of conflict
Types of Conflict
  • In the Literary Terms section of your notebook, please copy the following information about the types of conflict that form the basis of plot.
external conflict
External Conflict
  • There are three types of external conflict:character vs. character; character vs. society; andcharacter vs. nature.
character vs character
Character vs. Character
  • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with others, especially the antagonist.
character vs society
Character vs. Society
  • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with society as a whole.
character vs nature
Character vs. Nature
  • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with the elements of nature.
internal conflict
Internal Conflict
  • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with her or his conscience.