Elements of a Short Story

 Identify
 Define
elements of a short story
elements of a short story
 Demonstrate
mastery of short story
 Short
stories often contain structural
and character elements that should
be familiar to you.
 These
elements can be used as guides
to help you think about the actions,
themes, and contexts of the story.
Elements of Short Stories
 Theme
 Plot
 Setting
- rising action
 Characters
- conflict
- climax
 Point of view
- falling action
 Characterization
- resolution
 The
main idea of a literary work,
usually expressed as a generalization.
The time and place in which a
work of literature happens.
The people (or actors) in the
story. Can also be animals, plants,
inanimate objects…
 The story teller from whose
point of view the story is being
told, the narrator. Can be first
person, third person limited, or
third person omniscient.
First Person Point of View – story is told by one of
the characters in his or her own words (“I” or “me”);
limited view since the reader is told only what this
character knows and observes
Third Person Point of View – narrator tells the story
from the vantage point of “he” or “she;”
may be an omniscient (all-knowing) observer who
can describe all characters and actions in story as well
as comment on what the characters think and feel;
might also be limited, where the narrator tells the
story from the point of view of only one character.
The description of the
personalities of the
characters in the story
and the way in which an
author reveals their
personalities; how the
characters develop and
change throughout the
The sequence or order of events in a story.
The plot includes:
-Exposition Statement - The part of the
plot that tells how the story begins.
-Rising Action - The action in the story
leading up to the climax.
-Conflict - Struggles or problems between
opposing forces. Can be internal (within
a character) or external (between two
characters, emotions, or a combination).
- Climax - The point of crisis in the plot. It may
be the reader’s point of highest interest, may
be the peak of the action.
- Falling action - The action in the story after
the climax is revealed.
- Resolution - The part of the plot that reveals
the final outcome. Can also be called the
Now that we have
identified and
defined the elements
of a short story, we
will use the elements
to analyze some of
our readings.
Dinneen, K. Elements of the Short Story. Retrieved Jun.
19, 2003, from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:
Five Elements of a Story. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003,
Guevin, D. Short Story Elements. Retrieved Jun. 19, 2003,