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English Review

Literature = any type or style of writing or book

Genre = a specific kind or style of writing
Realistic Fiction
Historical Fiction
Science Fiction
Folk Tales/Fairy Tales

Three Main Categories

Non Fiction


Fiction = stories that are not true
Realistic Fiction= fiction that could be real or could actually happen, these stories are make
believe but have real characters doing real things in a real way.
Hint: the story could actually happen to someone like you
Historical Fiction = make believe fiction set in the past. The setting, timing and even some
of the characters may have been real, but the story or plot is made up.
Hint: set in the past, people you learn about in social studies
Science Fiction = stories use technology, outer space or futuristic settings to tell a story.
Sometimes they sound like they might someday be true.
Hint: aliens, outer space, technology, future, superheroes, robots
Fantasy = completely make believe stories with settings, characters and/or plots that could
never happen. Many childrens books are fantasy.
Hint: talking animals, magic, new worlds
Folk tales = stories that have been passed down from parent to child for a long time. They
often have the same elements as a fantasy story. There are many types of folk stories: fairy
tales, myths, legends, and tall tales.
Hint: once upon a time
Mystery = stories that revolve around a problem that needs solving.
They often are full of suspense and may have crimes that need solving.

Hint: crime, detective, problem solving, clues to follow

Non Fiction
Non Fiction = stories that are true
Informational = informational texts are true books that give facts and information.
Textbooks are informational books.
Hint: facts, data, photographs, information that can be proven
Biography = biographies are true stories about real people written by other people. They are
Autobiographies = are true stories about real people written by themselves.
Hint: facts about a real persons life, photographs, information.
Poetry can be written in any way, shape or form
Often has rhyme or rhythm
Its not always punctuated or capitalized.
Is usually not a narrative, has shorter sentences and no paragraphs.
Can be about any topic, both fiction and nonfiction.

Short Story Elements

There are two meanings for the word character:

1) The person in a work of fiction.
2) The characteristics of a person.

Character: Person in a work of fiction

Protagonist and Antagonist

Short stories use few characters.

One character is clearly central to the story with all major events having some importance to
this character - he/she is the PROTAGONIST.

The rival of the main character is called the ANTAGONIST.

The Characteristics of a Person
In order for a story to seem real to the reader its characters must seem real.

Characterization is the information the author gives the reader about the characters

The author may reveal a character in several ways:

a) his/her physical appearance

b) what he/she says, thinks, feels and dreams

c) what he/she does or does not do

d) what others say about him/her and how others react to him/her

The time and location in which a story takes place.

For some stories the setting is very important, while for others it is not.
Place - geographical location. Where is the action of the story taking place?

Time - When is the story taking place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)

Weather Conditions - Is it rainy, sunny, stormy, etc?

Social Conditions - What is the daily life of the characters like? Does the story contain local
color (writing that focuses on the speech, dress, customs, etc. of a particular place)?

Mood or Atmosphere - What feeling is created at the beginning of the story? Is it bright
and cheerful or dark and frightening?
Plot Structure Through Short Stories

The plot is how the author arranges events to develop his basic idea; It is the sequence of events in a
story or play. The plot is a planned, logical series of events having a beginning, middle, and end.
There are five essential parts of plot:




Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts
Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax
Climax: the turning point, the most intense momenteither mentally or in action
Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax
Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads

Plot: Another Point of View

1. Introduction/Exposition - The beginning of the story where the characters and the setting
is revealed.
2. Rising Action - This is where the events in the story become complicated and the conflict
in the story is revealed.
3. Climax - This is the highest point of interest and the turning point of the story. The reader
wonders what will happen next; will the conflict be resolved or not?
4. Falling action - The events and complications begin to resolve themselves. The reader
knows what will happen next and if the conflict was resolved or not (events between climax
and denouement).
5. Denouement /Resolution - This is the final outcome or untangling of events in the story.


Conflict is essential to plot.

It is the opposition of forces which ties one incident to another and makes the
plot move.

Conflict is not merely limited to open arguments, rather it is any form of

opposition that faces the main character.

Within a short story there may be only one central struggle, or there may be
one dominant struggle with many minor ones.
Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without
conflict, there is no plot.
Types of Conflict

External Conflict
Human vs Human
Human vs Nature
Human vs Society
Internal Conflict
Human vs Self