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Elements of a Short Story

Setting, Plot, Conflict, Characters

Nicole Petraitis

on 19 September 2015

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Transcript of Elements of a Short Story

Elements of a
Short Story

What you need to know!
Let's put it all together:
Working in your groups:
1. Create a plot diagram identifying each plot element of "Alma"
2. Describe the setting of the film.
3. Name the protagonist & antagonist & list 3 character traits for each.
4. Identify the conflict(s) & type of each
5. Identify the theme of "Alma"
Create an engaging visual presentation of your findings. Be prepared to share!
Place: Geographical location
Time: When does the story take place? (historical period, time of day, year, etc)
Weather conditions: Is it sunny, rainy, cold, snowy, etc?
Social conditions: What is the daily life of the characters like? Does the story contain cultural aspects such as speech, mannerisms, customs, etc of a particular place?
Mood or Atmosphere: What feeling is created at the beginning of the story? Is it bright and cheery or dark and frightening?
Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story.
It shows the sequence of events and actions that occur within a story.
The plot is a planned, logical, series of events that have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
There are two types of conflicts:
: A struggle with a force outside of one’s self.
: A struggle within one’s self (Character must make a decision, overcome pain, resist an urge, etc)
There are two meanings for the word character:
The person in a work of fiction.
The characteristics of a person.
5 Essential Parts of Plot
Freytag's Pyramid
Introduction or Exposition
The beginning of the story where the setting and characters are revealed.
Rising Action
Where the events of the story become complicated and the conflict is revealed.
This is the highest point of interest and the turning point in the story. (What will happen next? Will the conflict be resolved?)
Falling Action
The events and complications begin to resolve themselves. (What happened after the climax? Was the conflict resolved?)
Resolution or "Denouement"
The final outcome of the story; the conclusion.
Essential to the plot. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Any form of opposition that faces the main character.
Within a short story, there may be only one central struggle, or there may be a dominant struggle along with many minor ones.
There are
kinds of conflict:
Man vs. Man
: The leading character struggles against other men.
Man vs. Circumstances/Nature
: The leading character struggles against fate, the circumstances of life he/she faces, forces of nature, or animals.
Man vs. Society
: The leading character struggles against ideas, practices, or customs of other people.
Man vs. Himself/Herself
: The leading character struggles with himself/herself, ideas of right and wrong, physical limitations, choices, etc.
The person in a work of fiction:
PROTAGONIST: The character that is clearly central to the story, all major events have some importance to this character.
ANTAGONIST: The opposer of the main character.
The author may reveal a character in several ways:
His/Her physical appearance
What he/she says, feels, thinks, and dreams
What he/she does or does not do
What other characters say about him/her and how others react to him/her
Characters are:
Individual: Round, many sided, and complex personalities
Developing: Dynamic, many sided personalities that change, for better or worse, by the end of the story.
Static: Stereotype, have one or two characteristics that never change and are emphasized. (Wicked stepmother, brilliant detective)
A theme is the main idea or message of the story.
It is not simply a topic. For example, “love” is a topic; “love overcomes all” is a theme.
Not all stories have positive themes.
Don’t confuse a theme with a “moral,” which implies something positive, or lesson learned.
Popular Themes in Literature:
"Treat others the way you want to be treated."
"Be happy with what you have."
"Believe in yourself."
"Accept others' differences."
And many, many others!
30 October 2014 - Almost HALLOWEEN!
Please find your journal and take your seat.
In no more than one page, describe a scene from any spectator event (sports, concerts, plays, etc).

Use each of the following verbs somewhere in the paragraph:
You may change the verb tense to suit your narrative!
Be prepared to share your responses with the class!
Start a new page and put the date at the top!
Make it interesting!
We're putting your rubric to work! Assign a role to each group member.
Circle, underline, or highlight each word!
Exit Ticket:

What is the climax of The Lion King?

Answer in complete sentences and include your name!
Objective: To identify and analyze short story elements in a variety of literary examples.
Common Core Standard Addressed:
Determine a theme or central idea of a text
analyze in detail its development over the course of the text
, including
how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details
provide an objective summary of the text.
Your goal is to be able to identify and discuss key elements of a story in a variety of literary examples. You will need this foundation in order to analyze everything we read, all year long!
Evens & Odds: In your own words, what are we doing and why are we doing it?
HW: Break down the story elements for the movie/book/tv show (no reality shows!) of your choice, using the same format as your presentations. Don't forget the title!
Full transcript