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Elements of a Short Story
Transcript of Elements of a Short Story
The message that the author is trying to convey.
struggle between two people or things - can be one major conflict or many minor struggles within a larger conflict
In Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the story takes place in the country of France.
In Disney's "The Little Mermaid", some parts of the story take place in an underwater grotto filled with human artifacts and hidden treasures.
Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" was set in the early 1800s.
What the author comes right out and tells you about the character
"The boy was very sneaky."
"The woman was frail and weak."
Information that the reader must infer from what the character says, does, and thinks
"The beady-eyed boy shot his hand across the girl's desk when she wasn't looking and stole her homework."
In other words, what is the author saying about being human?
is usually one-word. For example, the topic of a story might be "war," while the
might by that "war is useless and detrimental to a society."
"Love is the most important part of life."
"Money is the root of all evil."
What do you think is the theme of "The Three Little Pigs"?
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Self
Man vs. Man
Man vs. Society
This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).
This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.
The “high point”. This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.
Events leading to the resolution.
The point where the conflict is solved and loose ends are tied up.
The leading character; usually the good guy
The main character who opposes the protagonist
A person or animal who takes part in the action of a story
Why do you think we read?
Why do we write?
What's the point?
"The Lady or The Tiger"
- Frank Stockton
Use the details you put in the dilemma chart to write an ending to the story:
- must be at least ¾ page
- be consistent with the story
- determine if the woman or the tiger was behind the
- describe the story using sensory details (sight, sound,
smell, touch, taste)
Now you get to decide which fate the princess chose for her love!
Concrete object stands for an abstract idea
ex: Scales function to weigh things, but they can also be a symbol for our justice system
Comparison between two unlike things
comparing two things using like or as
ex: I wandered lonely as a cloud
comparing two unlike things (not using like or as)
ex: Life is a roller coaster, it has lots of ups and downs
language that appeals to the senses
Giving non-human things human qualities
A contrast between expectation and reality
Saying one thing but meaning something completely different
ex: calling a clumsy basketball player Michael Jordan
A contradiction between what we expect to happen and what really does happen
ex: A traffic cop gets his license suspended for unpaid parking tickets.
When the reader knows something important that the characters in the story don't know
ex: Two people are engaged but the audience knows that the man is planning to run away with another woman.
How the author arranges events to develop the basic idea
Do you agree with John Green and his thoughts on how and why we read?
How do you feel about his statements on the role of an author and how the author relates to the reader?
(write for 3-4 minutes)
Continue writing for 3-4 minutes (should have 1/4 page)
These non-examples would make good topics, but they don't tell us a message, so they aren't themes.
You can take a topic (like love or war) and turn it into a theme by asking what the author is saying about that topic.
Once you have some message about life or how that topic pertains to us, then you have your theme!