Elements of a Story

Plot- the plot is how the author arranges events to develop his basic idea. The plot is a series of events having a beginning, middle, and end. The short story usually has one plot so it can be read in one sitting.

Setting- The time and location in which a story takes place is called the setting. For some stories the setting is very important, while for others it is not. There are several aspects of a story's setting to consider when examining how setting contributes to a story like time, place, mood or weather.

Theme- The theme the author's underlying meaning or main idea that he is trying to convey. The theme may be the author's thoughts about a topic or view of human nature.  

Conflict- Conflict is essential to plot, without conflict there is no plot. Conflict is not limited to open arguments, 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.

  a) Internal- A struggle with a force outside one's self.

  b) External- A struggle within one's self; a person must make some decision, overcome pain, quiet their temper, resist an urge, etc.

Protagonist- 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.

Antagonist- The opposer of the main character is called the ANTAGONIST.

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?

Resolution- This is the final outcome or untangling of events in the story.

Moral- The lesson a story teaches

Point of View- Point of view, or p.o.v., is defined as the angle from which the story is told.

a) 1st person- The story is told by the protagonist or one of the characters who interacts closely with the protagonist or other characters. The reader sees the story through this person's eyes as they experiences it and only knows what they knows or feels.

b) 3rd person/Limited- the author tells the story in third person. We can see the thoughts and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.

c) omniscient-The author can move from character to character, event to event, having free access to the thoughts, feelings and motivations of his characters and he introduces information where and when he chooses. 9 1/2

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