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Elements of the Story - Part 1

Review of Characters, Setting, and Plot
by

Sandy Wood Bairfield

on 8 March 2013

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Transcript of Elements of the Story - Part 1

Dissecting the Short Story and Novel: Review of Characters, Setting, and Plot Elements of the Story - Part 1 Plot It is heavily influenced by character’s actions. Definition:
the sequence of events that propels the story forward Answers the questions "When & Where?" and "Who wants what? why?" Plot Line: Exposition The Exposition includes the Inciting Event. At the beginning of the story, we not only meet the characters and discover the setting, We also find out the CONFLICT (inciting event), which is also called the problem. After the conflict is introduced in the Exposition, more events happen in the story that show the protagonist struggling with the conflict (problem). Plot Line: Rising Action In the exposition of the story, expect to meet the main character(s) (including protagonist) and to find out the setting, what the protagonist wants and why (motivation) Problems in stories will be solved. Look for the one event that is the key to solving the problem. Plot Line: Climax expos-ition:
reader is "exposed" to the story's setting, main characters and conflict. the beginning of the story (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr the development of the problem rise-ing action:
complications arise, suspense builds and tension "rises" For example, in the story of the "Three Little Pigs," we could answer those questions as such:
When and Where? Long, long ago in Fairy Tale land
Who? Three Little Pigs
want what? want to leave
Why? because they want to be safe from the Big Bad Wolf
But? The big bad wolf keeps trying to eat them The conflict answers the question "But?" after the reader discovers the answers to the questions "Who wants what? why?" The CONFLICT is what gets in the way of what the protagonist wants. It is the point where the action shifts or changes. Since the climax is the turning point of the story...  The plot events that follow the climax are different from before it. In the story of the "Three Little Pigs," we know... Long, long ago in Fairy Tale land, the Three Little Pigs want to leave because they want to be safe from the Big Bad Wolf But the big bad wolf keeps trying to eat them...
So? They run away from him as he blows their houses down The Rising Action answers the question "So?" after the reader discovers the conflict. "So what will the protagonist do now that there is an obstacle?" In "Three Little Pigs," we can now figure out the climax. The little pigs run from the Big Bad Wolf...
Until? The pigs lure the BBW down the chimney into a pot of boiling water The Climax answers the question "Until?"
The answer is the one event that resolves the problem and changes the course of the plot. After the climax, you know the problem is solved or being solved. This part of the story -the Falling Action- is what happens because the problem is solved. It leads to the ending. Plot Line: Falling Action the turning point of story climax
synonyms: high point, peak the wrap up fall-ing action:
the problem is solved; the story's ending "falls" into place In "Three Little Pigs," after the Big Bad Wolf falls into the pot of water, we can answer the question:
Then? The wolf is cooked and eaten by the pigs. The Falling Action answers the question "Then?"
The answer tells the reader what events happen to wrap up the story. The ending gives the story a sense of resolution and completeness. It concludes the story for the reader. Plot Line: Resolution the ending of the story resol-ution:
the end of the story where all complications have been "resolved." "Three Little Pigs" ends with this answer:
Now? The three little pigs live happily & safely ever after and become famous rap stars known as Notorious PIG. The Resolution answers the question "Now?"
The answer is how the story ends or the implication of what happens immediately after the story ends. Bacon, out! people or animals in a work of fiction Characters Let's use the story of the "Three Little Pigs" as a model for some questions. These questions will help us figure out the story.
First, we ask the character question,
Who? The Three Little Pigs (protagonists) & the Big Bad Wolf (antagonist) Characters answer the question "Who?"
The reader is most concerned with the main characters. (=main character =hero) One character is clearly central to the story with all major events having some importance to this character - he/she is the PROTAGONIST The opposer of the main character is called the ANTAGONIST (=main character =villain) the time, place, and atmosphere of the story's surroundings Setting "Show" a character through ACTIONS, DIALOGUE (talking), and description of traits -rather than direct telling of traits. Good writers use CHARACTERIZATION to bring characters to life! this happens when a character changes throughout a story, usually learning something about himself, society, his family, etc. Character Development Happy, in the movie "Happy Gilmore," learns several lessons. As a result, his character develops, or changes for the better. Dynamic Character a character who changes behavior or learns a lesson as a result of the story events this character stays the same throughout the story.
He/she has one or two characteristics that never change and are emphasized.
e.g. evil villain, couch potato, cruel stepmother Static Character In "Three Little Pigs," the answer to those questions would be:
When & Where? Long, long ago in Fairy Tale Land The setting answers the questions "When?" and "Where?" "Shrek" the movie Lord Farquaad is static because he stays evil throughout the story. "Shrek" the movie Shrek is dynamic because he changes from being a mean ogre to a nice one. Internal Conflict There are two types of Conflict: a struggle that takes place in a character’s mind,
like a life-changing difficult decision. External Conflict when a characters battles outside forces 1. Man (as in mankind) versus Man There are 4 types of external conflict: 2. Man versus Nature (weather, animals, illness) 3. Man versus Society (rules & laws) 4. Man versus Technology Man vs. Man Examples: a man and wife who disagree about how money should be spent; Two little boys engaged in fistfight; a boss firing an employee. Man vs. Nature Examples: a family stranded by a snowstorm; a woman who is unable to function due to an illness; a man stalked by a wild animal in a forest. Man vs. Society Examples: a woman who runs a red light; a child who cuts school; a burglar who breaks into a house. Man vs. Technology Examples: a computer virus or crash; any electrical system or object that breaks or burns out. Man vs. Him/Herself:
This conflict is when a character deals with his/her conscience. There is only one type of Internal Conflict Man vs. himself/herself Examples: a woman who is tempted to steal money from her employer; a child who cannot decide if he should lie to his mother; a man who would like to quit his job but is afraid. Jiminy Cricket was Pinocchio's conscience,
presenting Internal Conflict Captain Jack Sparrow battled his nerves to find the courage to open Davy Jones's Locker. Austin Powers fighting to stop Dr. Evil is an example of Man versus Man External Conflict. Where does each part of the plot line belong? The Plot Line Oh No! Run, Piggy, run! Nom Nom Nom Nom
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