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Elements of Fiction
Transcript of Elements of Fiction
The main events of a play, novel, movie, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.
A struggle between opposing
in a story resolved by the end of the work. The plot revolves around the conflict and the characters are changed by having dealt with the conflict.
An imaginary person that inhabits a literary work. They may be defined as round or flat, dynamic or static, and protagonist or an antagonist.
The first stage of a fictional or dramatic plot, in which necessary background information is provided.
This is where the character faces complications or difficulties with the conflict. Tension builds and the reader often experiences excitement or suspense.
This is the turning point of the story where the plot changes direction, turning from conflict to resolution. Often, the reader begins to infer (make an educated guess) how the story will end.
Here, the lives of the characters are on track to going back to "normal".
The end of the story where the conflict is resolved and the protagonist is changed for the better. Remember, the resolution may not always be what you want, but a conflict is still resolved.
Man Vs. Man
This type of conflict is when characters conflict with one another.
EX: Harry Potter vs. Voldemort, Katniss Everdeen vs. President Snow
Man Vs. Nature
This type of conflict is when character(s) struggle with some form of nature, whether it be an animal, weather, etc.
EX: Tributes vs. the arena in Hunger Games, Harry Potter vs. the Enchanted Forest
Man Vs. Society
When a character struggles with the norms, beliefs, and/or policies of society. Commonly, characters struggle with government.
EX: Jonas from The Giver struggles with the rules placed on him from society
Man Vs. Himself
This type of conflict is when the main character struggles with something within him/herself.
EX: Katniss' struggle to choose between Peta and Gale, Twilight when Edward struggles with the need to feed his thirst for blood
Point of View
The perspective in which a story is told. The POV is important because it affects how we see or even interpret a story.
Third Person Omniscient
Third Person Limited
Major characters in a story are also known as the round characters
because they have depth. We know a lot about round characters,
like their wants, fears, and dreams. Protagonists are typically round.
In contrast to round characters, flat characters are typically minor to the story and face little challenges or none at all. These characters may not advance plot or have a lot of depth to them. We generally know little about who they really are or what they stand for.
A literary or dramatic character who undergoes little or no inner change; a character who does not grow or develop. Typically the antagonist and minor characters fall under a static label.
A story told in first person is when a main character from the story is telling it from their perspective. Look for pronouns like "I" and "We" when identifying point of view.
The method of telling a story where the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of several characters in the story.
Like third person omniscient, the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of characters. However, the key difference between third person limited and third person omniscient is that the narrator's all-knowing power is limited to one (or a few) characters.
With the objective point of view, the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
EX: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The time, place, physical details, and circumstances in which a situation occurs. Settings include the background, atmosphere or environment in which characters live and move, and usually include physical characteristics of the surroundings.
Can establish tone and affect the readers mood
Create a mental picture
Can contribute to the conflict in some cases
The theme is an idea that is weaved throughout a story. A story may have more than one theme , some themes may stick out more than others, and the theme can vary from person to person.
A literary or dramatic character who undergoes an important inner change, as a change in personality or attitude as a result of experiencing struggle with the conflict. It is often through analyzing the change of a dynamic character where we find a theme.
Internal conflict refers to the psychological struggle a character may face. This could be as simple as a fear of snakes or as complex as mental illness. Key to remember is this struggle takes place within a character.
Rather than taking place within the mind, this type of conflict occurs externally. Where as the FEAR of snakes may be the internal conflict, having to PHYSICALLY FIGHT the snake would be an external conflict.
The main character who is in conflict with the antagonist. We often consider the protagonist the "good guy" and is intended to be the character that the reader relates to.
The antagonist is the character who is responsible for the conflict that the protagonist faces. The antagonist may not always be a person; for example, it could be a snake, the government, or even a character's dream that they struggle to achieve.
The theme must be drawn out of the story. Meaning, readers need to think deeply about the literary elements to find a bigger meaning behind what takes place on the surface.
What are some of the topics or concepts and what do we learn about them?
What conflict does the protagonist face and what can we learn from it?
When analyzing the theme, readers need to dissect the text just like they would a frog in science. Good readers look for details that help contribute to the message of the story.
What details does the author use to carry out the theme?
What do you think the author's opinion is about the theme?
What is my opinion?
Does this theme apply to our world today?
Methods of Characterization
The author informs reader of character traits through direct statements.
"Grace was the shy one of the group, she often stood near the back of the crowd and looked on from afar."
Author reveals information through
their thoughts, words, and actions
the comments of other characters
the character's physical appearance
His ratty flannel button up hung loosely over his arms and shoulders, and the tattoo running down his neck read, "Step Off."
This form of narration uses the "You" as the primary pronoun. Often implies that the narrator is an "I" and/or is used to connect reader to the narrator.
Significance of POV
"The choice of the point of view from which to narrate a story greatly affects both the reader’s experience of the story and the type of information the author is able to impart. First person creates a greater intimacy between the reader and the story, while third person allows the author to add much more complexity to the plot and development of different characters that one character wouldn’t be able to perceive on his or her own. Therefore, point of view has a great amount of significance in every piece of literature. The relative popularities of different types of point of view have changed over the centuries of novel writing. For example, epistolary novels were once quite common but have largely fallen out of favor. First person point is view, meanwhile, is quite common now whereas it was hardly used at all before the 20th century."