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Name: Maureen Mae E.

Mana-ay Topic: Reading: Modern Short Story Date: June 26, 2018

ELEMENTS OF A SHORT STORY

I. PLOT
The story line, or action, of a narrative. The classical division of plot are:

 Introduction (exposition) – the introductory part of a narrative, in which


characters and conflicts are identified and the setting and tone established.
 Rising Action (complication) – the problem that confronts one or more of the
characters during the course of the plot exposition. The remainder of the story is
concerned with resolution of the complication.
 Climax (point of greatest intensity) – the turning point in the plot structure, the
peak at which the rising action reverse and becomes falling action. In a short
story, the climax is the point at which the outcome of the story becomes
inevitable.
 Falling Action – the events and complications begin to resolve themselves. The
reader knows what has happened next and if the conflict was resolved or not.
 Denouement (resolution of the story) – the resolution of the plot in any dramatic
narrative; the events that follow the climax of the plot.

Special Techniques of Plot


 Suspense – excitement or tension
 Flashback – interrupts the normal sequence of events to tell about something that
happened in the past
 Surprise Ending – conclusion that reader does not expect
 Foreshadowing – a hint about what will happen next

II. SETTING
The time, place, and mood in which the action in a narrative occurs.

Details can be describe:


 Place
 Time
 Weather Conditions
 Social Conditions
 Mood or Atmosphere

III. CHARACTER

There are two meanings for the word “character”:

1. The person in a work of fiction.


a. Protagonist – the main character; the character everything revolves
around (“the good guy”)
b. Antagonist – the character or force that struggles against the protagonist
or causes him or her conflict/problems (“the bad guy”).

2. Characteristics: Features or traits that the author combines to create the


personality and appearance of his characters.
There are two type of characteristics:
1. Behavioral – information that discloses how a character behaves (happy,
sad, kind, mean).
2. Physical – information that discloses a character’s appearance (sloppy,
meat, tall, short)

Characterization: the presentation of fictional beings as credible persons; also the


particular methods—description, detail, action, dialogue—that the author uses to make
his characters believable.

 Direct/Explicit – the author literally tells the audience what a character is


like. This may done via narrator, another character or by the character him
or himself.
 Indirect/Implicit – the audience must figure out for themselves what the
character is like through the character’s thoughts, actions, speech (choice
of words, way of talking), looks and interaction with other characters,
including other character’s reaction.

Characters are…
1. Round (Individual) – fully developed personalities that are affected by the story’s
events; they can learn, grow, deteriorate by the end of story.
2. Dynamic (Developing) – character who does go through change and “grows”
during a story.
3. Static (Stereotype) – character does not go through a change.
4. Flat – one dimensional character

IV. CONFLICT
The struggle between two opposing forces in a narrative. Conflict is the source of action
in a story, the reason the plot moves forward. For action to be convincing, some
motivation for the conflict must be given in the story.

Two types of conflicts:


1) Internal – a struggle within the mind of one character.
2) External – a struggle between one character in a work of fiction and
another character or force outside himself.

There are Four Kinds of conflict:


1) Man vs. Man: (Physical) – The leading character struggles with his
physical strength against other men, forces of nature, or animals
2) Man vs, Circumstances (Classical) – The leading character struggles
against fate, or the circumstances of life facing him.
3) Man vs. Society (Social) – The leading character struggles against ideas,
practices, or customs of other people
4) Man vs. Himself / Herself (Psychological) – The leading character
struggles with himself; with his own soul, ideas of right or wrong, physical
limitations, choices, etc.

V. POINT OF VIEW
Point of View, or P.O.V. is defined as the angle form which the story is told

1. Innocent Eye – The story is told through the eyes of a child (his/her judgment
being different from that of an adult).
2. Stream of Consciousness – The story is told so that the reader feels as if they are
inside the head of one character and knows all their thoughts and reactions.
3. First Person – The story is told by the protagonist or one of the characters who
interacts closely with the protagonist or other characters (using pronouns I, me,
we, etc). The reader sees the story through this person's eyes as he/she
experiences it and only knows what he/she knows or feels.
4. There are two main types of Third Person point of view:
 Omniscient Limited - The author tells the story in third person (using
pronouns they, she, he, it, etc). We know only what the character knows
and what the author allows him/her to tell us. We can see the thoughts and
feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.
 Third Person Objective - The author tells the story in the third person. It
appears as though a camera is following the characters, going anywhere,
and recording only what is seen and heard. There is no comment on the
characters or their thoughts. No interpretations are offered. The reader is
placed in the position of spectator without the author there to explain. The
reader has to interpret events on his own.
5. Second Person – The story is told to another character using the pronouns you,
your, and yours. It is not often used in fiction writing, but is used in letters,
speeches, and other forms of nonfiction.

VI. THEME
The central idea or main point of a literary work; it usually deals with universal truths or
human experience such as maturation, love, revenge, death.

a. Fraudulent: dishonest or deceitful.


b. Idiosyncrasy: a habit or mode of behavior peculiar to an individual.
c. Iniquity: wickedness.
d. Romantic: idealistic; of a storybook, fairytale quality. (Romantic also has a
precise literary meaning, but the word is not used in the literary sense here or in
the program.)
e. Grotesque: fantastically ugly, monstrous, unnatural, bizarre.
f. Realistic: accurately reflecting life as it is, not as one might wish it to be.