elements of fiction

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NOTES
ELEMENTS OF
FICTION
The way a writer
reveals the
personality of the
character
2 basic ways
an author uses characterization
1. Direct—the author supplies
all the information
2. Indirect—the author
provides hints or clues
and allows the reader to
form ideas about the
character. (infer)
Types of characters
Protagonist—
main character;
who the story is
about
Types of characters
Antagonist—
person or thing
against the
protagonist
Types of characters
Dynamic: changes as a
result of a story’s events
(protagonist must be dynamic!!)
Static: does not change
much in the course of
a story
A struggle between
opposing forces or sides
Char. Vs. Char.—Bilbo vs. Gollum
Char. Vs. Self—John Adams’ decision to
defend the British soldiers because of even
though he didn’t agree with their actions, he
believed they had a right to be defended
Char. Vs. Society—Goldilocks decides to
break into the Bears’ house (against the law!)
Char. Vs. Nature—shipwrecked on an island
because of a storm
Char. Vs. Fate— Frederick became prince
because he happened to be born to royalty.
Setting:
The time and place in which the
action takes place.
It often sets the mood for the story.
A statement about life the
author is trying to get across.
In most cases, it will be implied.
There may be more than one
theme in a story.
small version of something
larger:
it represents or symbolizes
something larger
A classroom = society
A tide pool = life cycles, all of
Earth’s oceans
A small town = America
The attitude a writer takes
toward his or her subject,
characters, and audience.
Humorous as in
“Ode to a Toad”
Sincere & Passionate as in
“I Have a Dream”
Dictionary Definition
A meaning, association, or
emotion associated with a
word
DETERMINED VS.
PIGHEADED
They have similar
denotations but different
connotations.
Determined has a positive
connotation / Pigheaded has
a negative connotation
Bullheaded
Willful
Firm
Persistent
Resolute
A writer’s or speaker’s
choice of words.
Slang words would be
suitable for a humorous piece
but not for a serious essay.
An expression peculiar to a
particular language that means
something different from the literal
meaning of the words.
“Hold your tongue”
“A smart cookie”
“Bury your head in the sand”
A way of speaking that is
characteristic of a certain
geographical area or a
certain group of people.
The sequence of events
that occur in a story
The point in the plot
when the tension is
greatest and when a
main conflict is resolved
A Minor Plot that relates in
some way to the main plot.
Most novels have various
subplots connecting
characters & events together.
An introduction of a story. Tells
us about characters, setting, and
usually the basic conflicts
The final part of the story, in
which the conflict is resolved and
the story is brought to a close.
An interruption in the present
action of a plot to show events
that happened at an earlier time.
The use of CLUES or HINTS
to suggest events that will
occur later in the plot.
Epilogue
Final section of a novel or
story, which provides a
comment or conclusion to
what has happened.
It follows the book's climax,
and ties up any loose knots.
Repeated elements of the plot.
For example:
“The 3 Little Pigs”
POINT OF VIEW
Third-Person Omniscient: Narrator
knows everything about \all the
characters and their problems. Can
go anywhere in the story
But the narrator does not take part in
the story’s action.
POINT OF VIEW
Third-Person Limited:
The narrator focuses on the
thoughts and feelings of only
one character. From this point
of view, we observe the action
through the eyes of only one of
the characters in the story.
POINT OF VIEW
First-Person: One of the
characters, using the personal
pronoun I, tells the story.
We can only know what
this character knows and observe
only what this character observes.
There are 3 types:
VERBAL IRONY: contrast
between what is said or written
and what is really meant.
Example: Calling a baseball player
who just struck out “Slugger” or
“Another Babe Ruth”
SITUATIONAL IRONY:
occurs when what happens is very
different from what we expect will
happen.
Example: Casey, in “Casey at the
Bat”, strikes out when we are led
to believe that he will save the day.
DRAMATIC IRONY: occurs
when the audience or reader knows
something a character does not
know.
Example: The Diary of Anne Frank is
filled with dramatic irony; we know
about the tragic fate of the people in
the play, but they do not.
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