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Elements of Fiction Notes

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maria cook

on 21 August 2016

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Transcript of Elements of Fiction Notes

Elements of Fiction
6 Main Elements
Point of View
The time, place and period in which the action takes place.
It includes:
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
Weather conditions

Setting helps:
shape characters
directs plot
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.

Static Character-
does not change in the course of the story

Flat Character
- stereotyped, shallow, often symbolic. They have one or two personality traits.

The series of events and actions that takes place in a story.
Plot Line
Rising Action
Falling Action
The start of the story. The way things are before the action starts.

Rising Action:
the series of events and conflicts that creates suspense interest and tention in a story. It includes all decisions, characters' flaws and background circumstances that lead to the climax of the story.

The turning point. The most intense moment (either mentally or physically).

Falling Action:
all of the action which follows the Climax. It is during the falling action when the main conflict is normally resolved

The conclusion of the story in which the threads of the plot are drawn together and things are explained or resolved.
Elements of Plot
The method in which a character is presented and developed in a story.
Direct characterization: the narrator explicitly describes the character.
Indirect characterization: character’s traits are revealed through their own thoughts/actions or those of other characters
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.

Man VS Technology:
The character must overcome a machine or other forms of technology

Man VS supernatural:
The character struggles against an force that is either unexplainable, uncontrollable, or impossible to see/prove.

Internal Conflict: problems arise between the character and him/herself
Man VS self:
the character struggles with thoughts/ issues in his own head
The central idea the writer wishes to convey
a universal truth or a revelation about human nature.
is an overarching message communicated through setting, characters and action.
can be IMPLIED throughout the novel
Theme is NOT-
• specific to the novel
• the conflict/resolution

Physical description -

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?

Action/attitude/behavior -

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.

Reactions -

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.

Speech -

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.

An object that reporesents and larger or more abstract idea. The meaning of the object becomes figurative

Ex: a dove, a heart, a flag, the color black, a rose, a check-mark, a cross, the letter A
The moral of a story is a life lesson that you learn at the END of the story.
Usually appears in folklore/fables
Should always be a sentence
Is normally DIRECTLY stated

Repeated symbols can be used to develop the theme or moral of the story

All morals can be considered a theme, but not all themes can be considered a moral
morals need to be a complete sentence
themes do not
morals can be directly stated
themes are not
morals, symbols, and themes
oh my!
Methods of

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