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Elements of Fiction NOTES


Setting: Application to Alas, Babylon You will work individually to read your assigned setting passage and to answer corresponding questions and then turn this in. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Elements of Fiction NOTES

Elements of Fiction NOTES
  • English II
  • Strauss
  • 2014

DAY 1 Setting
  • Time and Place
  • (Where and When)
  • Also includes much more!
  • The citizens/characters
  • The weather
  • Background information (previous conflict, for
  • What else do you think setting includes???

  • Dialogue and Dialect
  • Modes of Transportation
  • Buildings/Architecture
  • Landscape/geographical features
  • Allusions (jokes, songs, literature, plays,
    historical events)
  • Clothing
  • Modes of Communication
  • Objects/Technology

Setting Reflection Questions
  • Why would these other items be considered part of
    the setting?
  • How do they contribute to the setting? What can
    you tell by their inclusion?
  • Are there any additional items that you can think
    of that would be considered a part of a setting?

  • Word Choice (Diction) and these other items in
    the setting help to create the Mood or Atmosphere
    of the story.
  • Mood the feeling created in the reader through
    the authors choice of words and other decisions.

Setting comparisons
  • Read the following two settings and determine
    what mood or feeling is created in the reader
    based upon the word choice and description.
  • Setting A The waves crested at just the right
    moment, and I caught them at just the right
    moment, riding them in to near the shoreline.
    Though choppy, the waves were strong, and once
    you caught them, the ride was exhilarating. The
    sky moved from dark to light and back to dark and
    the air was cool. A rare day altogether.
  • What is the mood in this passage?
  • Which words create the mood?

Setting Comparisons, continued
  • Setting B
  • The waves crashed cacophonously against the side
    of the house just as the wind banged against the
    windows and poor Rover cowered to the floor,
    covering his ears with his paws. We were not
    prepared for the intensity of the torrent not
    what was left in its aftermath broken homes,
    water drenched carpet, lost belongings . . . lost
  • Where is this set? How can you tell? What is
    the mood?

Setting Your Turn Notecard Activity
  • Think of a place you know well.
  • Describe it in four sentences.
  • Include sensory details of sight, sound, smell,
    taste, and/or texture.
  • Include dialogue and/or additional items that are
    included in the creation of a setting in a novel.
  • Do NOT state your place (or time) in your four
    sentences but do write the place on the BACK of
    your notecard.

Setting Application to Alas, Babylon
  • You will work individually to read your assigned
    setting passage and to answer corresponding
    questions and then turn this in.
  • Next, you will group up with others who read the
    same setting passage as you did. You will work
    together to create a visual representation of
    your assigned setting as well as complete an
    additional activity related to setting
    (activities may vary by group and thus the
    directions will be handed to your group instead
    of listed here).

DAY 1 Follow-Up/Wrap-Up or application to group
activity Difference between Mood and Tone
  • Tone The authors attitude towards the topic,
    situation and his audience
  • Mood The feeling created in the reader (or
  • Tone comes first (in the writer). The writer then
    writes and makes decisions about his words and
    their impact on his readers. The result is a
    mood in the reader.

DAY 2 - 3 Character
  • A character is a person, animal, or object within
    the story who/that plays a role within the story.
    Needs to have a personality.
  • Types of Characters
  • Protagonist main character
  • Antagonist the character who causes conflict
    for the protagonist
  • What other types of characters or terms for
    characters do you know?

Types of Characters
  • Round OR Flat?
  • Round well-rounded person readers know at
    least a couple of dimensions of this characters
  • Flat one-dimensional readers only are privy to
    one aspect of their character (thus they usually
    are static characters as well). Usually present
    as background or for an archetypal role or to be
    a foil (to/for the main character).

Types of Characters, continued
  • Dynamic OR Static?
  • Dynamic A character who changes throughout the
    course of the story
  • (Think dynamite which also changes.)
  • Static A character who stays the same
  • (Think s static/stays same static energy
    potential but not in motion.)

Types of Characters, continued
  • Archetypal Character
  • A character type. All of the elements or traits
    that would define that type of character.
    Generally a character type which has existed in
    literature throughout time and across cultures.
  • When you hear that there is a hero in a story,
    what traits do you expect that character to have?
  • A villain?

Types of Characters, continued
  • Some Common Archetypal Characters
  • Hero/ Tragic Hero/ Antihero The Rebel
  • Villain The Underdog
  • Miser/ Grouch The Best Friend
  • Young Lovers Cinderella
  • Caretaker Sage/ Wise old man
  • Mentor/Teacher The Chosen one
  • Jester/Fool Town Fool/Drunk
  • The Child/Innocent

Types of Characters, continued
  • Stock Character Often used in drama, a stock
    character is a fictional character based on a
    common literary or social stereotype. Stock
    characters rely heavily on cultural types or
    names for their personality, manner of speech,
    and other characteristics.
  • Foil Character A foil character is present in
    order to highlight the (usually positive) traits
    of a main character or even the protagonist. The
    foil will be an opposite in trait or personality
    to this main character, thus making the traits of
    the main character stand out more.

  • In What ways do we (readers) learn about a
  • I. Through the character him/herself
  • A. What he/she says (words/dialogue)
  • B. What he/she does (actions/interactions)
  • C. What he/she thinks (thoughts/internal)
  • II. Through other characters
  • A. What they say about/to the character
  • B. What they think about the character
  • C. How they act towards the character

  • Ways we learn about a character, continued
  • III. Through the narrator
  • A. What he/she says about the character
  • B. Including how he/she describes the
  • C. If narrator is a character him/herself then
    also how the narrator interacts with the

Characterization, continued
  • Characters can be described two main ways
  • Directly (Direct Characterization)
  • Explicitly
  • Stated
  • Indirectly (Indirect Characterization)
  • Implicit/Implied
  • (Requires inference on readers part.)

Character Development
  • A character is usually developed in the following
    ways (and when creating a character, you should
    consider all of these categories of
  • Physically
  • Mentally
  • Emotionally
  • Socially
  • (Spiritually/Ideologically)

Character Development
  • Physically
  • What does the character look like?
  • Includes height/weight/stature/build/body type
  • Includes hair color and length
  • Includes eye color and shape/look
  • Includes additional facial and body features
  • Voice quality/inflection/tone
  • How they smell
  • Skin texture and glow
  • What they wear (clothing style)

Character Development
  • Mentally
  • Includes level of intellect/mental capabilities
  • Mental strength/ ability to deal with issues
  • Includes thought process/es, such as whether one
    comes to decisions quickly or considers all
    possible aspects, angles, and outcomes first.
  • Includes types of mental/intellectual activities
    or games in which the character engages.
  • Psychological elements (such as single versus
    multiple personalities) and possible disorders
  • State of mind
  • Way of thinking deductive vs. inductive
  • Impulsive or contemplative

Character Development
  • Emotionally
  • Includes whether the person shows or hides
  • Includes whether the person is steady emotionally
    or more of a rollercoaster emotionally.
  • Includes the types of emotions the character
    feels and shows/hides.
  • Includes emotional engagement or lack of
    engagement with other characters.
  • Emotionally mature or immature?
  • Stoic?
  • Optimistic or Pessimistic?

Character Development
  • Socially
  • Includes whether the person is an introvert or
  • Interpersonal/intrapersonal
  • Includes the social groups in which the character
    is engaged.
  • Includes family, friends, coworkers, peers, and
    additional others with whom the character
  • Includes the characters place in the social
    spectrum (class status).
  • Leadership roles?

Your Turn Notecard Activity (or on
Self-Characterization handout)
  • Think of someone you know well or even yourself
    or look at someone in the room (Be careful Be
  • Describe this person in each of the following
    categories (list adjectives or one complete
    sentence of details)
  • Physically
  • Mentally
  • Emotionally
  • Socially

Characterization Application to Alas, Babylon
  • 1. Complete the characterization worksheet
  • Day 2 of Characterization Notes (Day 3 of overall
  • Review answers to characterization worksheet.
  • Complete the second characterization worksheet
    independently, as an assessment grade.
  • View brief ppt on Characters in the novel
    (created by students from last school year)
  • Complete additional Characterization Assignment

Additional Characterization application to Alas,
  • Each group will be given a different character
    from the text of Alas, Babylon.
  • Each group will read a passage or passages
    related to its assigned character.
  • Each group will create questions related to the
    character passage AND the notes/terms on

DAY 4 Plot Development
  • Plot the sequence of events in the story

Plot related terms
  • Exposition
  • Narrative Hook
  • Inciting Incident
  • Conflict Types of Conflicts
  • Rising Action
  • Complications
  • Climax
  • Anti-Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Resolution
  • Denouement
  • Catharsis

  • Introduction to the main characters, setting, and

Narrative Hook
  • A narrative hook (or hook) is a literary
    technique in the opening of a story that "hooks"
    the reader's attention so that he or she will
    keep on reading. The "opening" may consist of
    several paragraphs for a short story, or several
    pages for a novel, but ideally it is the opening

Inciting Incident
  • Begins the action
  • A plot point in the first act which disturbs the
    life of the protagonist and sets them in pursuit
    of an objective..

Conflict/ Types of Conflicts
  • Conflict The struggle or problem for the
  • Internal
  • Man vs. Himself (internal struggle, what should
    do, or split personality)
  • External
  • Man vs. Man (hero vs. villain, physical fight,
    mental play)
  • Man vs. Society (rebelling vs. societal
    expectations, Katniss in the Hunger Games)
  • Man vs. Machine/Technology (Terminator, I Robot)
  • Man vs. Nature (Survivor shows, vs. animals or
    natural events/disasters Hatchet)
  • Man vs. Supernatural (Charmed Percy Jackson
    Harry Potter Ghost Busters Goosebumps)
  • Man vs. Fate

  • Rising Action on Plot Diagram
  • The events during which the protagonist attempts
    to solve the problem. The events or
    complications then get in the way of the
  • Build suspense

  • The highest point of suspense in the story.
  • This point should still be a question We are
    wondering which way it will turn out. (The
    answer to the question is then the resolution)

  • a disappointing end to an exciting or impressive
    series of events.
  • "the rest of the journey was an anticlimax by

Falling Action
  • Events that occur after the Climax (or highest
    point of suspense) and lead to the Resolution
    (solution to the problem). Often times, there
    are no to few events in the falling action of a
    very short story.

  • The end to the central conflict (the solution to
    the problem). This does not mean that it always
    ends favorably for the protagonist.
  • Periodically a story leaves you hanging at the
    Climax and does not provide either an answer or
    solution to the conflict. In other words, it is
    possible to not have a Resolution.

  • The release of pressure
  • The release of intense emotion
  • Not necessarily present in all stories. I would
    expect it more in horror or intense/sad stories
    as catharsis is defined in Aristotles Poetics
    in regard to the drama Tragedy. It applies to
    Blues music as well.

  • Some places will define it as equivalent to the
  • I define it as any events or information which
    occur post the Resolution. Ends the story.
  • Like an epilogue (except an Epilogue fast
    forwards in time further).

DAY 5 - 6 Point of View
  • Who tells the story?
  • How is it told?

First Person Point of View
  • Uses First Person Pronouns
  • Nominative I, we
  • Objective me, us
  • Possessive my, mine our, ours

Second Person Point of View
  • Uses Second Person Pronouns
  • Nominative Pronouns you, you (all)
  • Objective Pronouns you, you (all)
  • Possessive Pronouns your, yours

Third Person Point of View
  • Uses Third Person Pronouns
  • Nominative Pronouns he, she, they
  • Objective Pronouns him, her, them
  • Possessive Pronouns his, her(s), their(s)

Third Person Point of View
  • Three Types
  • Third Person Objective
  • Third Person Limited
  • Third Person Omniscient

Third Person Objective
  • Uses the third person pronouns
  • Provides an outsiders view
  • Can only describe looks, actions, dialogues . . .
    Or only report on what is seen, heard, smelled,
  • Can NOT read the characters minds and can NOT
    report on their feelings
  • Objective means free from bias -- it is only
    a report, with not judgment

Third Person Limited
  • Uses third person pronouns
  • Can still report on what is observed, heard, etc.
  • Can ALSO read the mind of ONE of the characters
    his thoughts and feelings

Third Person Omniscient
  • Uses third person pronouns
  • Can still report on what is observed, heard, etc.
  • Must include the thoughts, feelings, and emotions
    of at least two characters

DAY 7 Literary Theme
  • Etymology
  • From the Greek, "placed" or "laid down
  • Using what you have learned about theme in
    previous English classes, how do you think the
    meaning of the word (above) relates to our
    concept of theme in literature?

Theme (Dont copy this.)
  • Theme (1) the abstract concept explored in a
    literary work (2) frequently recurring ideas,
    such as enjoy-life while-you-can (3) repetition
    of a meaningful element in a work, such as
    references to sight, vision, and blindness in
    Oedipus Rex. Sometimes the theme is also called
    the motif. Themes in Hamlet include the nature of
    filial duty and the dilemma of the idealist in a
    non-ideal situation. A theme in Keats's "Ode to a
    Nightingale" is the difficulty of correlating the
    ideal and the real.
  • http//academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/l

Remember. . .
  • A literary theme differs from a topic or a moral
  • Topic what the story is about (generally one
    word not a summary and not the theme).
  • Moral is worded as a command. It is what you
    should learn and apply to your own behavior.
  • Theme a comment on human nature. It may be
    good or bad it is the way we are, whether we
    like it or not. We are being made to look at
    ourselves as humans. Must be worded as a
    complete sentence. It can be a comment on the

Theme (Do not copy)
  • "Simply put, a story's theme is its idea or point
    (formulated as a generalization). The theme of a
    fable is its moral the theme of a parable is its
    teaching the theme of a short story is its
    implied view of life and conduct. Unlike the
    fable and parable, however, most fiction is not
    designed primarily to teach or preach. Its theme,
    thus, is more obliquely presented. In fact, theme
    in fiction is rarely presented at all readers
    abstract it from the details of characters and
    action that compose the story." (Robert DiYanni,
    Literature. McGraw-Hill, 2002)

Theme Examples
  • Hardship can make or break friendship/relationshi
  • Like a house without a roof is incomplete, a man
    without trust is incomplete too
  • Women, when they are courageous and lucky, even
    in a hostile environment, can overcome the odds
    against their survival.

Theme in Alas, Babylon
  • What is the message in Alas, Babylon?
  • What is the authors main point(s)?
  • What are the comments that the author is making
    about people (human nature)?
  • What are the comments he is making about our
    technology (in terms of weapons)? About war?
  • All of the above questions are ways of asking
    about THEME.
  • Remember Theme is not a lesson/moral.

Theme in Alas, Babylon
  • You will be given a passage from Alas, Babylon.
  • Read the focus question to guide your reading.
  • After reading the passage, answer the focus
    question that appears at the top of the passage.
  • Then, decide what thematic point the author is
    making in the passage.
  • What actions or events in the passage would
    support that this is a theme of the passage?

DAY 8 Irony
  • An incongruity between an expectation and a
    result, an intended meaning and an actual
    meaning, or between what is said and what is
    meant. . .
  • Three Main Types
  • Situational
  • Verbal
  • Dramatic

Situational Irony
  • Definition irony involving a situation in which
    actions have an effect that is opposite from what
    was intended, so that the outcome is contrary to
    what was expected.
  • Example If the president of Microsoft, Bill
    Gates, were to win a contest whose grand prize
    was a computer system, the irony would be
    situational because such a circumstance would
    appear ridiculous or "funny" for a number of
    reasons. Bill Gates doesn't need a computer, he
    runs the world's largest software company, and
    he's filthy rich, so winning a computer seems
    silly and "ironic".

Verbal Irony
  • Definition irony in which a person says or
    writes one thing and means another, or uses words
    to convey a meaning that is the opposite of the
    literal meaning.
  • Example The simple comment, "Oh Great" after
    something rotten happens is verbal irony. Verbal
    irony is by far the most accessible,
    far-reaching, and heavily utilized form of irony
    (and also of sarcastic humor) because it is its
    simplest form - it just involves the equation of
    two people talking to one another . . .

Dramatic Irony
  • Definition Dramatic irony is when the words and
    actions of the characters of a work of literature
    have a different meaning for the reader than they
    do for the characters. This is the result of the
    reader having a greater knowledge than the
    characters themselves.
  • In other words, we (the readers) know more than
    the characters themselves!
  • Example We know Juliet isnt really dead!

Irony in Alas, Babylon
  • Read the provided passages from Alas, Babylon
  • One of the passages occurs at the beginning of
    the text the other occurs a few chapters later.
  • As you read, think about
  • What is the irony in the passages (when taken
  • What type of irony is it?
  • How is this irony created?
  • What is the effect of the irony on the reader?
  • In this case, how does the irony help with

  • allusion, in literature, is an implied or
    indirect reference to a person, event, or thing
    or to a part of another text. 
  • Allusion is distinguished from such devices as
    direct quote and imitation or parody.
  • What are some of the Allusions in Alas, Babylon?

Symbol and Symbolism
  • An item that stands for both itself and something
  • Usually a concrete object.
  • Usually represents an abstract concept or idea.
  • May begin to hold meaning due to use and
    repetition throughout a story.
  • May represent/reflect a character.
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