Short Story Elements


    Short Story – a short piece of fiction (that can be read in one sitting)


    I.                    Setting - the time & place that a story happens

    A.    Also includes...

    1.       ideas

    2.     customs

    3.     values

    4.     beliefs

    II.                 Characters - the actors in a story’s plot

    A.    Can be...

    1.        people

    2.      animals

    3.      whatever the writer chooses

    B.     The protagonist is the main character

    C.     The antagonist...

    1.       is the person in conflict with protagonist

    2.     is not in all stories

    III.               Point of View - refers to the vantage point from which a story is told

    A.    The person telling the story is the narrator

    B.     First-person

    1.       Narrator is a character in the story

    2.     Uses “I” and “me” to tell the story

    C.     Third person

    1.       The narrator describes characters and action from outside the story

    2.     3rd person omniscient knows everything.

    3.     3rd person limited describes events as one character sees them

    IV.              Theme - central message of a story that readers can apply to life

    A.    Common themes include insights into human nature and perceptions about life.

    B.     Stated themes are presented directly in story

    C.     Implied themes...

    1.       must be inferred

    2.     readers must consider all elements

    3.     ask what message about life elements convey

    V.                 Plot - sequence of events in a story – a series of related events

    A.    Most plots deal with a problem

    B.      Most plots develop around a conflict

    C.     Stages

                                                i.            Exposition - introduces story’s characters, setting, & conflict

                                             ii.            Rising Action – develops the conflict with complications & twists

                                           iii.            Climax – emotional high point of story

                                            iv.            Falling Action – shows what happens to the characters after the climax

                                              v.            Resolution – shows how conflict is resolved or how the problem is solved.

    VII.  Conflict

    1. Definition:  A struggle between apposing forces
    2. External:  struggle between a character and outside force
      1. vs. another character
      2. vs. nature
      3. vs. society
      4. vs. fate
    3. Internal:  takes place within mind of a character.  Struggle....
      1. is with opposing feelings or
      2. is with indecision of how to act