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Short Story Elements

Setting, Characters, Conflict, Theme, and Plot
by

Jenny Schmidt

on 20 January 2014

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Transcript of Short Story Elements

Short Story Elements
Get Out Your Cornell Notes
Characters
Conflict
Internal Conflict
External Conflicts
External Conflict
Characterization
Dynamic vs. Static
Round vs. Flat
Protagonist/Antagonist
Place
Atmosphere
Setting
This is the "where." The place can range from a single room in a house, to an entire country. The circumstances of the place can affect how the characters respond to certain situations.
Time in the setting can be as specific as a certain hour within a day, to a certain month or year, or as broad as a whole time period.
Time is important because it determines what is appropriate for the story.
The atmosphere of the setting consists of many different elements that create the mood in a story.
Details about how a place looks, the weather, darkness, light, and again, time of day, can create the atmosphere in a story. This helps us determine the overall mood of a text.
The
protagonist
is the central character in a story. He or she may or may not be the "hero" of the story, but is usually the one with whom the audience identifies.
Dynamic
characters change throughout the course of a plot. This does not mean physical change. They may change their thinking, opinions, or attitude. This change usually affects the outcome of the story.
Characters whose many personality traits are revealed and described by the author, are
round
characters.
Characterization refers to methods by which the author develops a character.
This type of conflict occurs within a character.

Man vs. Self: Occurs when a character struggles with his or her own thoughts and desires, or a personal experience.
This conflict involves a character against some sort of outside force.
Place, time, and atmosphere in which the story happens.
Time
People, animals, or imaginary beings that take part in the action of a story.
The
antagonist
is usually the character in opposition to the protagonist. In some cases, the antagonist may not be a character at all, but just an opposing force. (nature, society, internal conflict)
Static
characters do not change, but

they stay the same throughout the story.
Characters who are described simply that we don't know much about, are
flat
characters.
An author may develop a character by:
describing physical appearance.
revealing the character's nature through his/her own speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
revealing the character's nature through others' speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
having the narrator make direct comments about the character.
The struggle between two opposing forces.
Man vs. Man
: This type of conflict involves two opposing characters.
Man vs. Nature
: The main character may struggle with the forces of nature.
Man vs. Society
: The character may struggle with elements of government or culture.
Theme
The main idea an author wishes to express with readers.
The theme must usually be inferred.
"THE MEssage"
The exposition sets the tone, establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and reveals the conflict with important background information.
Plot
The conflict is usually resolved during the falling action. Any "loose ends" are tied up.
The rising action consists of the events that move the plot along, usually by adding complications or expanding the conflict.
The climax, often called the "turning point," is the moment when the reader's interest and emotional intensity reaches the highest point. Occurs towards the end of the story and sometimes hints towards the resolution of the conflict.
The resolution is the end of the story when the action ends and most matters are resolved.
The sequence of events in a story.
Exposition
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action*
Resolution*
*Sometimes, the falling action and resolution are the same short events that end the story.
Mood: the overall feeling you get when reading a story.
Tone
Tone is different than mood, because tone is the attitude the author has toward the text.
Suspense
The increase of tension or excitement as you get more involved in reading a story.
Full transcript