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Copy of Copy of Elements of A Short Story

Definitions and examples of elements

Mrs. S. Wright

on 25 October 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Elements of A Short Story

Short Story: brief fictional narrative meant to be read in a single setting. Due to the length of the short story, narration and character portrayals must be focused and compressed, which adds a special energy and depth to the form.
Elements of a Short Story
Plot: the sequence of events in a story.
how the story begins and ends
the main conflict and how events build to it.
breaks from sequential order
Flashbacks (shifts to the past)
Foreshadowing (hinting at the future)
resolution of the conflict.
A tired lion falls asleep under a tree.
He is woken by a mouse who is jumping on
his back.
He takes the mouse in his paw and prepares to kill him.
The mouse pleads with the lion to save his life, promising that he will some day help the lion.
Sure enough, the lion is later caught in a hunter's trap.
The mouse hears his cries for help, and gathers his friends to gnaw through the nets and rescue the lion.
The lion learns the lesson, "A friend in need is a friend indeed."
Conflict: struggle between opposing forces.
External conflict: between a character and an outside force.
Man vs. man
Man vs. nature
Internal conflict: in the mind of the character.
Man vs. him/herself.
With a partner:

Name the internal conflicts in "The Lion and the Mouse."

Name the external conflicts.
Setting and Mood
Plot Structure
Exposition: setting and characters are introduced. Exposition often includes and inciting event - an incident that sets up the conflict.
Rising Action: events and complications that enhance the conflict.
Climax: turning point in the story.
Falling action: decelerates the intensity of the rising action and climax; leads to the story's end.
Denouement: shows how the conflict is resolved.
With a partner:

Label the plot events according to this chart.
Setting: time and place of the story.
Mood: general feeling the story conveys.
Characters: people or animals who take part in the action of the story.
Traits: qualities.
Motives: reasons for acting.
Writers use different techniques to present characters.
Direct characterization: the narrator makes direct statements about a character's personality.
Indirect characterization: readers learn about the characters by analyzing what they say and do, and by paying attention to how other characters respond to them.
Emily rifled through her files, which were arranged alphabetically and in order of importance by a complicated color-coding system, until she found exactly the document she needed. It took her no time at all to locate it.

What does this description tell us about Emily?
Writerly Exercise: How might you indirectly describe a character who is greedy?
Theme and Symbols
Theme: an insight into life that emerges as the elements of the story combine to create a unified effect.

Symbols: objects or story elements that represent a larger meaning.
What are some possible themes in "The Lion and the Mouse?"
Point of View: the narrative perspective from which a story it told. Point of view determines how much and what kinds of information an offer includes.
Three kinds of POV:
Third-person omniscient: the narrator is outside the events of the story, and has access to the thoughts and feelings of all characters.
Third-person limited: the narrator is outside the story but only has access to the thoughts and feelings of one character.
First-person: the narrator is a character in the story. He or she uses the pronouns "I" and "me."
Symbol challenge: Draw a symbol for each of the following concepts.
"The House of Usher" Edgar Allan Poe

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
Pacing: the "speed" with which an author relates events.

Elements of Short Story:
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