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Elements of a Short Story

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Title: Elements of a Short Story


1
Elements of a Short Story
  • ENG 4C1

2
What is a Short Story?
  • A short story is a piece of prose fiction,
    usually under 10, 000 words, which can be read in
    one sitting.

3
Short Story Elements
  • Plot
  • Atmosphere /Mood
  • Characters
  • Conflict
  • Theme
  • Setting
  • Point of View
  • P.A.C.C.T.S

4
1. Plot
  • The sequence of events that occur in a story.
  • Usually has 5 components
  • Introduction (Exposition)
  • Rising Action
  • Climax
  • Falling Action
  • Denouement ( Conclusion /Resolution)

5
Plot
  • Introduction/Exposition
  • Sets up the story by introducing the main
    characters, the setting and the problem to be
    solved.
  • Trigger Incident The event which begins the
    plot introduces conflict

6
Plot
  • Rising Action
  • The main part of the story where the full problem
    develops.
  • A number of events and /or obstacles are involved
    that will eventually lead to the climax.

7
Plot
  • Climax
  • The highest point of interest in the story where
    the most exciting events occur.

8
Plot
  • Falling Action
  • Follows the climax.
  • It contains the events that bring the story to
    the conclusion.

9
Plot
  • Denouement/Conclusion/Resolution
  • The final outcome.
  • The conflicts are resolved and the loose ends are
    tied up.

10
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11
Review Elements of Plot
  • List the 5 elements of the plot graph in order.

12
Answer
  1. Introduction (Exposition)
  2. Rising Action
  3. Climax
  4. Falling Action
  5. Conclusion (Denouement / Resolution)

13
2. Characters
  • People involved in the events of the plot.
  • Relatively few of them in a short story due to
    its limited length.

14
Characterization
  • 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 character themselves.
  • The author may reveal a character in several
    ways
  • His/her physical appearance
  • What he/she says (how they speak and what they
    say to others often revealed in dialogue)
  • What he / she thinks (their feelings, hopes and
    dreams)
  • What he/she does or does not do
  • What others say about him/her and how others
    react to him/her including the narrator

15
Characters
  • Protagonist - The main character or hero in a
    story.
  • Antagonist The person or force that works
    against the hero, or main character, of the
    story.

16
Characters
  • Narrator The person or character who tells the
    story, gives background information, and fills in
    details between dialogue.

17
Flat vs. Round Characters
  • Flat character- A flat character is simple and
    one-dimensional, usually only there to fill a
    simple role.
  • Round character- A round character has a complex
    personality, more like a real person.

18
Static vs. Dynamic Characters
  • Static character- A static character is one who
    stays the same throughout the entire story.
  • Dynamic character- A dynamic character changes in
    some way during the story. They usually come to
    some sort of realization that permanently changes
    them as a result of the events in the story.

19
Characters
  • Foil a character who adds contrast to the
    protagonist.

20
Elements of the Short Story Quiz
  • Provide an example of a protagonist and
    antagonist from the same literary work.

21
Self Check Elements of the Short Story
  • Time for a quick check so far
  • What are the 6 elements of a short story?

22
Answer
  1. Characters
  2. Setting
  3. Plot
  4. Conflict
  5. Point of View
  6. Theme

23
Self Check Characters
  • Describe 2 out of 4 ways an author can establish
    characterization.

24
Answer
  1. His/her physical appearance
  2. What he/she says,
  3. What he / she thinks, feels and dreams
  4. What he/she does or does not do
  5. What others say about him/her and how others
    react to him/her

25
3. Conflict
  • Conflict is the main struggle or opposition in a
    story that the protagonist has to solve or face.
  • Conflict in stories are either
  • External
  • Internal.
  • There are 6 main types of conflict.

26
Conflict Internal
  • Character versus Self
  • This is an internal conflict.
  • When a character struggles with moral dilemmas,
    emotional challenges or desires.
  • The conflict is with the character's own
    conscience or soul.

27
External Conflicts
  • 1. Character versus Character
  • This is an external conflict.
  • This is the most obvious form of conflict, when a
    character in a story struggles with another
    character in the story.
  • This can be in the form of arguments, conflicting
    desires, opposing goals, physical confrontations
    or emotional dilemmas.

28
Conflict
  • 2. Character versus Society
  • This is an external conflict.
  • A character may feel repressed by society
    creating a conflict.
  • For example, if a society opposes different
    religions, races, genders, sexual orientation
    this can create problems for characters in a
    story.

29
Conflict
  • 3. Character versus Nature
  • This is an external conflict.
  • Sometimes the forces of nature, which are out of
    the characters control, cause conflict in a
    story.
  • Nature can cause conflict in the form of a flood,
    hurricane, snow storm and much more.

30
Conflict
  • 4. Character versus Supernatural
  • This is an external conflict.
  • This type of conflict is usually found in certain
    literary genres, such as fantasy, science
    fiction, horror and supernatural books.
  • When the character comes up against aliens,
    divine forces or supernatural villains, such as
    ghosts.
  • The main character must call upon his or her
    strength to defeat the fantastic enemy
    confronting him or her.

31
Conflict
  • 5. Character versus Technology
  • This is an external conflict.
  • When the character comes up against a computer
    virus or a robot, or anything technological.

32
Review
  • List the 5 types of external conflict discussed
    in class.

33
Answer
  • Person vs. Person
  • Person vs. Nature
  • Person vs. Society
  • Person vs. Supernatural
  • Person vs. Technology

34
Review
  • Name and provide an example of the type of
    conflict classified as internal.

35
Answer
  • Person vs. Self
  • Example a conflict involving ones conscience,
    fears or doubts.

36
4. Theme
  • Theme is the storys message, unifying or central
    idea.
  • The theme may be the authors thoughts about a
    particular topic or view of human nature.
  • Carefully examine character and the central
    conflict the setting and action, images, and
    repeated words or phrases to help you identify
    theme.

37
Review
  • Define the term theme.

38
Answer
  • Theme is the storys message, unifying or central
    idea.
  • Theme is the authors commentary on an aspect of
    human nature or life in general.

39
5. Setting
  • The setting is where (place) and when (time) the
    story occurs.
  • Can provide the physical background, environment
    or atmosphere.
  • Also, can provide details about the social
    condition of the characters (daily life).

40
Mood / Atmosphere
  • Mood is the prevailing feeling of the story
    created through words and descriptions. Mood is
    also referred to as the atmosphere of a literary
    piece
  • Mood is developed in a literary piece through
    setting, theme, tone and diction

41
Self Check Setting
  • Define the term setting.

42
Answer
  • The setting is where (place) and when (time) the
    story occurs.

43
6. Point of View
  • The point of view is the perspective from which
    the events of the story are presented to the
    readers. (who is telling the story)
  • There are 2 main types of point of view

44
Point of View
  • First Person
  • a character in the story is the narrator and uses
    the pronoun I.
  • The story is told through one characters eyes
    and the events are coloured through that
    characters experience.

45
Point of View
  • Third Person
  • the narrator tells the story about other people
    and uses the pronouns they or she / he
    rather than we.

46
Point of View
  • There are 2 types of third person point of view
  • 1. Omniscient- the narrator knows everything
    about all the characters and the events and can
    shift from character to character.
  • 2. Limited the narrator may choose to tell the
    story through one character or a group of
    characters eyes.

47
Review
  • The narrator tells the story using the pronouns
    they rather than we.
  • What type of point of view is described above?

48
Answer
  • Third Person

49
Review
  • The narrator knows everything about all the
    characters and the events and can shift from
    character to character.
  • What type of point of view is described above?

50
Answer
  • Third Person Omniscient

51
Elements of the Short StoryWrap Up
  • Do you have any questions?
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