Elements of Fiction
NCTE elements of fiction
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Plot
Character
Conflict
Theme
Setting
Point of View
Tone and Mood
Plot: a series of events, or action,
in the story (what happens in the
story)
Main plot vs.
Subplot--a second story, or side
story, that is complete and
interesting in its own right
FREYTAG’S TRIANGLE
Freytag’s Pyramid
1.
exposition--gives the background information for the story
2.
inciting incident--an incident or event which begins the central
conflict
3.
rising action--the central conflict is developed
4.
climax--high point of interest, or suspense in the story
5.
crisis, or turning point--the point of the story at which something
decisive happens to determine the future course of events and the
working out of the conflict
6.
falling action--the events that occur after the turning point
7.
resolution--the point in the story where the central conflict is
resolved
8.
denouement--tells the final outcome of loose ends in the plot
Character--any person or figure in the story
Types
•main characters
–Protagonist
–Antagonist
•minor characters
static vs. dynamic--Does the character stay the same during the
story or change?
round vs. flat--Is the character realistic/life-like or unrealistic (a
caricature)?
How is a character revealed? Through…
•her or his appearance or appearance of her or his possessions
•her or his thoughts (omniscient narrator (or first person))
•her or his actions (what she or he does)
•her or his own words (what she or he says)
•others’ words (what others say about her or him)
3.
Conflict--challenge that lies within
the story
a. types of conflicts
1. individual vs. him- or herself
(internal conflict)
2. individual vs. individual
3. individual vs. society
4. Individual vs. nature
5. individual vs. God/Fate/Destiny
(external conflicts)
4. Theme—
• a central idea that runs
throughout the story
• the message of the story or poem,
what the story adds up to
Motif--a recurring image, symbol, or
even event that occurs throughout a
work of literature
5. Setting
1. definition: the time and place of the story.
2. examples:
a. John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men takes
place on a northern California ranch during the
Great Depression of the 1930’s
b. The Catcher in the Rye is set over a
three-day period in late 1940’s New York City.
6. Point of View
1. definition: the angle from which the story is narrated
2. three most common types
a.
First Person
stories told with “I” as the narrator
usually the narrator is the protagonist, but not always (Catcher vs.
Mockingbird); sometimes the narrator is a minor character
b.
Third Person, Omniscient
stories where the narrator uses “he” and “she” and knows
what’s in every character’s mind (omniscient = all knowing)
most common form of narration (Of Mice and Men)
c.
Third Person, Limited
the narrator can’t see what’s in the characters’ minds
the story is presented through the protagonist’s perspective (Animal Farm)
7. Tone and Mood
1. Tone: the attitude of the author or narrator
toward the story or characters (angry, playful,
satirical)
2. Mood: the attitude or emotions of the reader
toward the story or characters (sad, hopeful,
nostalgic)
3. Example:
In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden’s tone is
sarcastic and angry, while Salinger wants the
reader’s mood to be a sympathetic feeling and/or
sadness for Holden’s trouble
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Elements of Fiction 1. Plot 2. Character 3. Conflict 4. Theme 5