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The Five Elements Of A Novel

Plot, Theme, Setting, Point Of View, and Character

John Vergara

on 2 September 2015

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Transcript of The Five Elements Of A Novel

The Five Elements Of A Novel
Point Of View
The main events of a movie, novel, story or play in which the events are presented by the writer in a interrelated sequence.

Plot can be defined as "what happens in the story." Take a look at Freytag's plot chart.
The place and time where the novel, story or play occurs.

A simpler way to define setting would be to say that it is "when and where the story takes place."
The lesson the writer of the story is trying to teach the reader. The "message".

The subject being conveyed, talk (conversation), writing, a person's thoughts, an exhibition.
Who is telling the story. First person point of view uses "I", and is told by one of the characters of the story. Third person point of view uses an unnamed narrator who knows what all (or most) of the story's characters are thinking.

The person telling the story, the narrator. His/her view or position in regard and relation to the story being told.
A person in a novel, play or movie.

The people (or animals) that the story is about.
Rising Action
Falling Action
Plot Chart
What are the parts found in a plot sequence? What do these "parts" represent in the story?
The parts found in a plot sequence are exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement/resolution. These parts represent the introduction, conflict escalation, turning point in the story, things slow down, the ending where the author wraps things up.
Exposition (Introduction)
The exposition is where everything is introduced. The characters, the setting, the time, the place, the problem and more.
Rising Action
The rising action is when things begin to escalate. It takes the reader from the exposition and leads them towards the climax. This part tends to be dramatic and suspenseful.
Ex: An example of exposition would be from the book "The Hunger Games". The movie starts off in the beginning when the author introduces the setting in Katniss's home. She reaches out to seek her sisters' warmth but finds her snuggled up with their mother. They are located in the nation of Panem, District 12, living in Seam.
Ex: A rising action example would be from the The Hunger Games. In the book, the rising action of this story is the tension of the games, tributes being killed until the final few game contestants remain.
The climax is the most suspenseful and emotional part of the book. This part/event is what makes you hold your breathe in and want to look away, but you can't because it's too good to not view.
Ex: The climax in the Hunger Games is depicted by this screenshot from the movie. In this scene, Katniss and Peeta both take the daring suspenseful attempt to take their own lives with poisonous berries.
Falling Action
Denouement (Resolution)
Falling Action is when everything tends to slow/settle down. The climax just finished its part and is now irrelevant.
Ex: The Hunger Games' falling action starts when the games master halted them from committing suicide by letting them both win instead of one.
The hilarious denouement, resolution, conclusion, and or end. It is the final part of the story where everything is ended nicely. Although, sometimes the story may finish off and answer questions from the readers. The author of the book may also leave hints of upcoming sequels.
Ex: The Hunger Games displayed a very good resolution. Both Katniss and Peeta won the 74th annual Hunger Games by a daring move. They are reunited as the nations' star-crossed lovers but the author leaves the story with President Snow thinking and or plotting something. This is one of the hints to the second book of the Hunger Games.
You now know what a plot is. So, the next time you read a book or watch a movie. Try to identify the plot and plot sequence!

What are some examples of theme?
Example 1
Human Beings All Have the Same Needs: Whether you are rich or poor, educated or not educated, all human beings need love and other basic needs.
You could find an example of theme from Romeo & Juliet. There are many themes in this particular story. Love, fate, murder, violence, passion, family importance, crime does not pay, etc.
Example 2
Another example of theme would be from the book "The Great Gatsby." As you read the book, there are references to how societal classes are separated and that the upper class are quite shallow and hollow.
The theme of The Great Gatsby is the hollowness of the upper class.
Example 3
The last example I believe to be a great showcase is from the book To Kill A Mockingbird. There are more than several themes displayed in the story. Coexistence of good and evil, social inequality, importance of moral education, etc.
The main theme I believe to be in this example is the coexistence of social inequality. In TKAM, the picture to the right shows Atticus defending Tom Robinson when racial prejudice existed in the town of Maycomb.
You've just learned what Theme is!
Now you'll be able to apply what a theme is to a book report. :D
What are some examples of setting?
What are the types of point of view?
What are the types of characters? What is indirect and direct character analysis?
Example 1
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the setting takes place in Surrey, England and Hogwart's Wizardry Academy around the late 1990's.
Example 2
Example 3
Dear reader, I am to inform you that you have been taught the literary term called "Setting."
The Lord of the Rings
In the series of The Lord of the Rings, the
story takes place in Middle-Earth during the Third Age.
King Arthur
King Arthur's time and place was in Camelot (Britain) during the 10th century.
Objective Point of View
Third Person Point of View
First Person Point of View
Omniscient Point of View
Limited Point of View
The narrator assumes the position of an observer, detached from the narrative. This can be said as the reader does not have access to any character's thoughts.

Ex: “She ordered asparagus soup. John smiled. ‘Do you remember?’ he asked.”
Third person is the familiar he said / she said story.

Ex: He gripped the dollar bill tightly. “You can’t have it,” he told her.

Depending on the author’s choice, it can be very limited, pulling the reader into the head of the narrator, or completely omniscient, letting readers see all the characters’ thoughts.
First Person POV is a story told in the narrating character’s own voice. It uses “I” throughout, and the reader doesn’t know any more than the character does.

Ex: I was minding my own business when Mom burst in. “What’s with you?” I grumbled.

If the reader is to know that Mom is angry, it must be shown through her words and body language available to the “I” character, and not through Mom’s thoughts (unless psychic abilities are one of the narrator’s traits).
Subjective Point of View
Second Person Point of View
Stories told in second person are told as if telling someone else what they are doing.

Ex: You walk into the cave and hear a low rumble. “What is it?” you wonder.

While second person POV is occasionally used in literary stories, and was successful in Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City, it is generally considered to distance the reader instead of drawing them into to identify with the character. One of its common uses today is in interactive fiction, such as the “Choose Your Own Adventure” stories.
Subjective can include thoughts and internal reactions, such as...

Ex: “She ordered her favorite soup, remembering the weekend John had convinced her to try it.”
An omniscient POV lets the author dip into the heads of various characters. When done well, it can be very effective, letting more characters’ thoughts, feelings, and background be shown. The disadvantage is that of a constant reminder of a constructed story, and so adds some distance between the reader and the characters.

When used by less-skilled writers, the result is often a muddled jumping-about of thoughts, creating discomfort for the reader.

Examples of stories with an omniscient POV include:

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (alternates limited and omniscient)
A limited POV keeps the narration to what that character can see or know. First person is obviously limited, but many third person stories are as well. Everything is seen through the narrator’s eyes, and the reader can only tell what other characters are thinking or feeling by their body language or what they say. The writer also can’t include description such as “the usual vase of flowers sat on the table,” unless the narrator knows that it is usual for flowers to be there.

Many books today are written with a limited POV, including:

The Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
Come to Grief by Dick Francis
One True Thing by Anna Quindlen
What are YOU viewing at?
You can tell the difference between what type of point of views are being used in books you read and in movies you watch!
Round Characters
Flat Characters
Static Characters
Stock Characters
Dynamic Characters
Indirect Character Analysis
Direct Character Analysis
The protagonist is the main character in a story, novel, drama, or other literary work, the character that the reader or audience empathizes with. Also known as the hero, main character.
The antagonist in a work of fiction is the character who opposes the hero, or protagonist. The antagonist, when there is one, provides the story's conflict. Also known as the villain, bad guy, archenemy, and nemesis.
A round character is a major character in a work of fiction who encounters conflict and is changed by it. Also known as the major character, main character, and dynamic characters.
A flat character is a minor character in a work of fiction who does not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also known as a two-dimensional character, minor character, and static.
Static characters are minor characters in a work of fiction who do not undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story. Also known as a two-dimensional character and flat.
Stock characters draw from widely known cultural types for their characteristics and mannerisms, and are often used in parody.
A dynamic, or round, character is a major character in a work of fiction who encounters conflict and is changed by it.
When an author tells you directly about the character’s personality
Harry Potter is the protagonist in his book series.
Lord Voldemort, unlike Harry who is the protagonist. Voldemort is the antagonist in Harry Potter. He opposes Harry in the story. He is the villain, bad guy, nemesis and archenemy of Harry.
Marlin, from Finding Nemo as Nemo's father is an example of a round character. He starts off brave, changes his perspective after an incident, and later changes his perspective again.
In Finding Nemo, Bruce the shark is a flat character. He is not around very long, and you wouldn't really understand why he does what he does. His motivations are very simple, when he gets hungry, he tries to eat.
When an author reveals a character’s personality through his or her actions or dialogue
Ex: The patient boy was well mannered and didn't disobey his parents.
This tells you indirectly that the man or character is poor.
Ex: He used to sleep on newspapers,his clothes were dirty...
This sentence tells you directly that the boy is patient.
Brilliant! Fantastic! Bravo!
From this Prezi, you have just learned "The 5 Elements Of A Novel." Plot, Theme, Setting, Point of View, and Character.

Thank you for your time!
British Literature
Bryson Prest
Period 3

The five elements of a novel are important because they are vital to a successful storyline that is strong, a descriptive story, and without both of these the story would become flat and unable to draw the reader's attention.
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