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Elements of Fiction
Transcript of Elements of Fiction
Point of View
Elements of Fiction
There are 7 basic literary elements in fiction
"During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country."
"The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe
Protagonist: main character
Antagonist: Opposes or conflicts with the Protagonist
When the author develops the personality of a character by direct statements
Developing a character's personality through thoughts, words, actions, and other character's comments
"His face was the face of a student, thin and ascetic, but his eyes had the cold gleam of the fanatic. They were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death."
from "The Sniper" by Liam O'Flaherty
"Mrs. Pratchett's eyes flicked over and settled on my own face. I looked down and studied the black asphalt surface of the playground."
from "Boy" by Roald Dahl
Resolution or Denouement
Conflict is the dramatic struggle between forces in the story. Without conflict, there is no plot. Conflict can be
external or internal.
The author tells the story directly
"The two enemies stood glaring at one another for a long silent moment. Each had a rifle in his hand, each had hate in his heart and murder uppermost in his mind."
from "The Interlopers" by Saki
Third Person Omniscient
Third Person Limited
Not told by a character (so not first person),
but focusing on the viewpoint of only one character in the story
"Old Mrs. Wang knew of course that there was a war. Everybody had known for a long time that there was a war going on and that Japanese where killing Chinese. But still it was not real since none of the Wangs had been killed."
from "The Old Demon" by Pearl S. Buck
Told from the viewpoint of one of the characters using the pronoun "I"
"The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge."
"Guys like us, that work on ranches, are the loneliest guys in the world. They got no family. They don’t belong no place... With us it ain’t like that. We got a future. We got somebody to talk to that gives a damn about us."
from "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
The theme usually contains some insight into the human condition. It is rarely stated directly, but instead implied by the events and actions in the story.
A journey can symbolize life
Water can symbolize renewal
The color green can symbolize jealousy or envy
The author uses setting, characters, images, and language to create the atmosphere or mood of the story. The mood can be suspenseful, joyful, silly, eerie, serious, etc.
"The restless urge of autum, unsatisfying, sad, had put a spell upon them, and they must flock, and wheel, and cry; they must spill themselves of motion before winter came."
from "The Birds" by Daphne du Maurier
Where and when does the story take place?
Who or what is the story about?
What happens in the beginning, middle, and end of story?
From what perspective is the story told?
What is the central idea or underlying message of the story?
A symbol represents an idea, quality, or concept larger than itself
What atmosphere does the author create?