Short Story Unit


Short Story Unit

• •


– the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.

– Revolves around a conflict (or problem)

5 Stages

– Exposition – Rising Action – Climax – Falling Action – Resolution

5 Stages of Plot

(Exposition/Rising Action/Climax) •


– Introduces characters, setting, and conflict •

Rising Action

– Builds suspense as conflict becomes clear •


– Point of greatest suspense – Point when conflict is solved

5 Stages of Plot (Falling Action/Resolution)

Falling Action

– Shows the effects of the climax – Describes what happens to characters next •


– Answers any remaining questions related to the plot



– The effect created when there is a sharp contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually happens. • Example: a fire at the fire station – How was the ending of “The Turtle” ironic?

– How about “The Dinner Party”?


• •


– The struggle between opposing characters or forces that is central to the action of a literary work.

Two kinds –


• Character struggles against another character, society, or force of nature.


• Character struggles with an issue or problem within his or her own mind.


• In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina was making its way toward New Orleans. Residents faced both kinds of conflict.

Internal: As the storm got closer, residents had to make a decision whether or not to pack up and leave their homes or stay and ride out the storm.

External: Once the storm hit, the residents were battling nature for survival as flood waters rose and wind battered their houses.


Direct Characterization

– When an author tells you how a character looks, behaves, and thinks.

• Example: Mark is a generous person.

Indirect Characterization

– When an author lets the audience draw their own conclusions about a character by the way they speak or act or how others react to the character. – Audience needs to make an inference.

• Example: Mark spent his weekend working at a soup kitchen.


• There are two kinds of characters: –


• A character is one who changes throughout a story.

– Ebenezer Scrooge is an example because he was a miserly and miserable at the beginning of A

Christmas Carol.


• A character is one who stays the same throughout a story.

– Bob Cratchit is a static character because he was a friendly, hard working guy at the beginning of the story and he still is when the story ends.



– The underlying idea the writer wishes to convey about that subject. • In A Christmas Carol, one possible theme could be: – It’s never too late to make a change in your life.



– The form of a language spoken by people in a particular region or group.

Example: In Ohio, people don’t refer to soda as soda, they call it pop. – Writers use dialect to make writing more authentic.

– An author may use dialect to help provide characterization for his/her characters in a story.

• If you want a 14 year old kid (Theodore Boone, for example) to sound very smart, the author will have him using a large vocabulary. This lets the reader know that the kid is smarter than average.


• Tone – An author’s attitude towards a subject.

• During your Book Talks, many of you wrote about how you couldn’t wait to read another book by this author. That reveals a positive tone towards the subject (in this case, your book).


• Mood – The emotional effect or feeling that an author creates in a literary work.

• Think about “Lather and Nothing Else” – Mood of that story was tense and suspenseful – Hernando Tellez kept you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out what was going to happen.



– The author’s use of clues to hint at what might happen later in the story – builds the readers’ expectations and creates suspense – Example: When Paul woke up this morning, he had no idea this would be the most important day of his life.

Turning Points

Turning Point

– a point in time when something happens that causes a shift or a permanent change in direction • Example: What if Mr. White had never taken the monkey’s paw, or if he had never made a wish? Mr. White accepting the monkey’s paw and wishing on it was a turning point in the story.

– What was a turning point in “Lather and Nothing Else?”