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Elements of Fiction
Transcript of Elements of Fiction
6 Main Elements
Point of View
The time, place and period in which the action takes place.
The geographical location
The specific location -building, room, etc.
The time period (date, time, season, year, era)
The quality of life (technology, economy, wellfare)
Culture of the location
sets up an atmosphere
The people (or animals, things, etc. presented as people) appearing in a literary work.
Types of Characters:
- The main character in a literary work.
- The character who opposes the protagonist.
- undergoes some type of change in story because of something that happens to them.
- stereotyped, shallow, often symbolic. They have one or two personality traits.
does not change in the course of the story
The series of events and actions that takes place in a story.
The start of the story. The way things are before the action starts.
the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax.
The turning point. The most intense moment (either mentally or in action).
all of the action which follows the Climax.
The conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads.
Elements of Plot
Point of View
The perspective from which the story is told.(Who is telling the story?)
The narrator is part of the story, and told from his/her point of view
Uses words like I, me, my mine, we, us, our, ours
Narrator is either speaking to you, the reader, or him/herself
Uses words your, yours, yourself, and you in addition to commands
2nd person POV is very rare
The narrator is outside the story, explaining what is happening and sometimes even the thoughts of the characters.
Uses words like he, she, it, they, them
Omniscient Point of View (sometimes limited)
"Omniscient" means "all-knowing."
An omniscient narrator can see and report everything.
External Conflict: problems between the character and on outside force
Man VS Man:
the character struggles with another person (ex: antagonist or bad guy)
Man VS Nature:
usually the character is struggling to survive against a force of nature (ex: natural disaster, wild animal)
Man VS Society:
Character struggles with the society in which they live usually for freedom, rights, or against persecution.
Internal Conflict: problems arise between the character and him/herself
Man VS Himself:
the character struggles with thoughts/ issues in his own head
The central idea the writer wishes to convey about the subject
the writer’s view of the world or a revelation about human nature.
can be expressed in a single sentence
There are three main types of third-person point of view:
the events of the story are are told by a seemingly neutral, impersonal observer or recorder. NO thoughts or feelings are shown, ONLY actions.
a narrator that not only reports the events by also reveals the thoughts and feelings of ONE single character. the narrator is limited to the perspective and happenings of that one person.
an all-knowing narrator that describes the events but may also shows the thoughts and feelings of MULTIPLE characters.
The method in which a character is presented and developed in a story.
the narrator explicitly describes the character.
character’s traits are revealed through their own thoughts/actions or those of other characters
- the character's physical appearance is described. For example, characters might be described as tall, thin, fat, pretty, etc. We might be told the color of hair, or something about the clothing of the character. How the character dresses might reveal something about the character. Does the character wear old, dirty clothing, or stylish, expensive clothing?
What the character does tells us a lot about him/her, as well as how the character behaves and his or her attitude. Is the character a good person or a bad person? Is the character helpful to others or selfish?
Inner thoughts -
What the character thinks reveals things about the character. We discover things about their personalities and feelings, which sometimes helps us understand the character's actions.
Effect on others or what the other characters say and feel about this character. We learn about the relationships among the characters. How does the character make the other characters feel? Do they feel scared, happy, or confused? This helps the reader have a better understanding of all the characters.
What the character says provides a great deal of insight for the reader. The character might speak in a shy, quiet manner or in a nervous manner. The character might speak intelligently or in a rude manner.
Methods of Indirect Characterization