Short Story Literary Elements

The short story, the only genre developed in America, is a brief fictional work. Because it is meant to be read in one sitting, it usually centers upon one main character and his conflict, rather than having multiple main plots as novels do. Writing a good short story requires great skill because it must accomplish its purpose in very few words.

customs. .SettingThe setting of a literary work is the time and place of the action. Details such as dialect. and modes of transportation are often used to establish setting. neighborhood. institution. community. The place may be a specific country. building. or feeling. The setting includes all the details of a place and time ² the year. or home. clothing. region. even the weather. state. In most stories. the setting serves as a backdrop ² a context in which the characters interact. the time of day. The setting of a story often helps to create a particular mood.

Plotseries of related events that make up story or drama .

b.Plot What the story is about a. the point at which the plot changes direction falling action (denouement) ² the unraveling of events climax e. exposition³setting and initial incident rising action ² the story events after the exposition that build suspense and interest climax ² high point of suspense or interest. d. resolution ² the state of events at the end of the story The Plot Triangle looks like this! c. after the .

feel.CHARACTERIZATION The method the author uses to develop the personality of the persons in a story. actions. Indirect ² Using your own judgment to decide what a character is liked based on evidence given by the writer. Personality is the way people think. The author may do this by: a. such as looks. speech. Direct ² describing or explaining the direct actions or traits of the character . and act. and reactions of others b.

has many character traits. Static character ² does not change much in the course of the story d. Flat character ² has no depth.CHARACTERIZATION ² cont. c. Round character ² like a real person. which sometimes contradict one another. has many faults and virtues . only has one or two traits and these can be described in a few words f. Dynamic character ² changes as a result of the story·s events e.

PROTAGONIST The character about whom the story centers CAN BE GOOD OR EVIL Synonym: Main character .

Character versus protagonist (Character challenges main character.ANTAGONIST The character or force opposing the protagonist and creating conflict in the plot.) force .

touches. 1st person³A character in the story who can reveal only his or her feelings and thoughts. . c. feels.Point of ViewThe author·s choice of narrator a. 3rd person objective³The narrator can only relate what he sees. b. 3rd person omniscient³The narrator knows everything about the characters and can enter their minds and know their thoughts and feelings. It is like looking through a window on the scene. hears. or smells.

details. funny. and descriptions (sad.) .MOOD The atmosphere created by the author through setting. imagery. etc. scary.

.Dialogue ‡ A conversation between two characters that is used to reveal character and to advance the story line or action.

µ . in the reader·s mind. ´I felt the tempting white foam of the ocean curl around my frozen heels.Imagery A description so vivid that it creates a picture. beckoning me to join the deep. or image.

‡ They help the story come alive!! .What are Sensory Details? ‡ Descriptive words that appeal (attract or influence) to the 5 senses to create ´word picturesµ in the readers mind.

lemony) (sweet. tart. stench. spicy) (smooth.Sensory Details Authors use sensory details to make the text more realistic. sharp. whisper) . clang. soft) (colors. sizes) (buzz. Sensory details include words that relate to: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Smells Taste Touch Sights Sounds (moldy.

. Writers create suspense by raising questions in the minds of their readers.Suspense Suspense is the growing interest and excitement readers experience while awaiting a climax or resolution in a work of literature. It is a feeling of anxious uncertainty about the outcome of events.

or general statement. A theme can usually be expressed as a generalization.Theme The theme of a literary work is its central message. about people or life. The theme may be stated directly by the writer although it is more often presented indirectly. When the theme is stated indirectly. concern. the reader must figure out the theme by looking carefully at what the work reveals about the people or about life. or purpose. .

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