short story elements

The same literary elements found in long
complicated texts, are usually at work in
simpler, more direct, short stories. It is
helpful to look at the parts of a short story
before moving on to longer pieces such as
novel and plays.
 Every character, detail and event is
 Short stories usually contain 2 or 3
 A brief time is covered; it usually begins
near the climax.
 Most often the climax occurs at the end of
the story.
Characters are revealed in a short story by:
What a character says
What a character does
What others say about that character
What the author says or implies about the
The main character is called the Protagonist. The
character or force that opposes the protagonist is called
the Antagonist.
Characters are either dynamic (change, grow or mature
in some way because of the events of the story) or
static. They do not change or grow—they are practically
the same from the beginning to the end.
Is the way an author chooses to describe a character.
Direct Characterization: Narrator tells the reader about
the character’s traits.
Indirect Characterization: Narrator shows the character’s
traits through his/her words, actions and/or appearance,
and by showing us how other characters interact with the
character being described.
Note: work on developing an analyzes of each character.
Begin by gathering all this evidence and make a judgment
about the character.
What is telling the story?
First Person POV: The narrator is a character in the story who
describes things from his/her POV directly to the reader using
the first person (“I”). The character’s thoughts and feelings are
Third Person POV:
The narrator is not a character in the
story; instead he/she describes things
as an observer would. Often, this
narrator is able to reveal the thoughts
and feelings of one or a few of the
characters, but from the perspective of
someone outside the story.
Third Person Omniscient POV
The narrator knows everything about all the characters.
The narrator can enter the minds of each of the characters
and reveal what they think and feel (multiple
perspectives). This is sometimes called “god like” POV
because the narrator is all knowing and all seeing.
Third-person objective employs a narrator who
tells a story without describing any character's
thoughts, opinions, or feelings; instead, it gives an
objective, unbiased point of view. Often the
narrator is self-dehumanized in order to make the
narrative more neutral.
The events of the story that make up the
action. The plot includes the following:
1)Exposition/Introduction: intro to the
facts of the narrative.
2)Trigger incident: one event sets the
events of the narrative in motion.
3)Rising Action: a series of incidents
which cause the reader’s interest to rise;
as the suspense grows, the reader is
forced to ask questions and discover
4) Climax: the highest point of
action or interest.
5) Falling Action: a series of
events that occur after the
climax which resolve conflict
and explain details.
6) Conclusion: the story is
brought to an end , problems
are solved.
The context and environment in which a situation exists.
You need to analyze five important aspects to a narrative’s
setting, they are:
1)Weather conditions
2)Social Atmosphere
The central idea of the story that has universal
significance. It is the lesson that the reader is
taught and usually applies to life in general. It
is usually implied rather then directly stated.
Person Vs Person: (a physical, emotional, or moral
struggle between two or more people.
Person Vs Him/herself: (an inner struggle)
Person Vs Environment/Society: A person vs
nature or circumstance.
Person Vs Supernatural: A person who has to deal
with supernatural or spiritual entities.
Pay attention to titles. The title of a work is
significant—often shorthand for the theme or
central idea the author wants to get across.
Sometimes the title is ironic, meaning the
opposite of what it says.
The way the story is told. The characteristics of the language
used to tell the story it include:
Diction: the type of words or vocabulary the author employs.
Sensory Imagery: words that appeal to the five senses.
Simile: a comparison using like or as.
Metaphor: a comparison not using like or as.
Personification: when objects or animals are given human
Symbols: a person, place, thing or event used to
represent something else.
Suspense: a state of uncertainty, excitement or
Foreshadowing: hinting or suggesting an event will
happen before it actually does.
Flashback: referring to an event that occurred in the