The Short Story • A short story is a brief narrative, containing few characters, a simple plot, conflict and suspense leading to a climax and a swift conclusion. It is short, usually five or six thousand words.
Setting and Atmosphere • Setting: is the time, place, and atmosphere of the story. • Setting includes such factors as geographical location, and the time or period in which the action occurs. • Ex: The setting of Family Guy is Quahog, Rhode Island at the current time. • Atmosphere: is the mood of the story. • Ex: The atmosphere for C.S.I is tense and mysterious.
Narrator and Point of View (1/2) • Narrator: the voice telling the story. • Narration keeps the story moving, filling in details and description between dialogue. • The narrator speaks from several points of view. This is the way the story gets told.
Narrator and Point of View ( 2/2) • There are three (3) different types of point of view: • First person ( subjective): This uses pronouns such as “I”, “me”, “we”. A character in the story tells about events that happened to him/her personally. • Third person objective: This uses pronouns such as “he”, “they”, “she”, “it”. The narrator is like a roving camera or a newspaper reporter. He or she can only report what he/she sees or hears. The reader must make his/her own interpretation of events. • Third person omniscient: This also uses the pronouns “he”, “they”, “she”, “it”. However, the narrator can see into the hearts and minds of the characters and KNOWS ALL. The narrator controls what the reader is allowed to know.
Character and Characterization (1/3) • Characters are the people in the story. • Main character: people who are more important for the development and ending of the action. • Protagonist: character around whom the story is written (hero/heroine). • Antagonist: character who stands in the way of the protagonist (villain). Sometimes animals or nature can be the antagonist. • Minor characters: characters who play a lesser role in the development of the plot.
Character and Characterization (2/3) • The reader gets to know the characters through: • What he or she says. • What he or she does. • What others say about him/her. • Physical description • What the narrator says about him or her. • This is called characterization.
Character and Characterization (3/3) • Flat characters have only one side to their personality. • Round characters have many and can be complex. • Static characters experience no changes in the story. • Dynamic characters experience change.
Plot (1/4) • The plot is the series of events that occur between the introduction and the conclusion. It is the action of the story.
Plot (2/4) • Introduction: The introduction should be brief and create interest. It gives any necessary information and introduces the main characters. It usually gives the setting in time and place and can also suggest theme. • Inciting incident: The event that puts the story in motion. The reason there is a story at all. • Rising Action: The rising action is the major portion of the plot. A series of steps or problems leading to the climax.
Plot (3/4) • Crisis: Turning point in the story • Climax: The climax is the highest point of interest where the tension and conflict break. After the climax, the resolution of the conflict is achieved. • Falling action: the events that lead to a resolution. • Denouement and Conclusion: The untying or resolution of the plot. It explains any details that require further clarification. It must be brief.
Plot (4/4) • Conflict development: The conflict is a struggle between two (2) forces. It usually begins early in the story and is resolved (the resolution and denouement) by the end of the story. • Types of conflict: • Person vs. Person • Person vs. Society ( social) • Person vs. Nature ( physical) • Person vs. Self ( psychological)
Theme • The theme is the central idea which summarizes the author’s purpose in writing. It is the universal truth that emerges from between the lines of the story. • NOTE: Theme is not plot! • Remember this saying: The theme is the message.
Creating Reader Interest • Dialogue: the actual spoken words of a character. It is used to create realism. Characters may speak using jargon, slang, colloquialisms etc. • Flashback: an EARLIER episode is recounted. • Foreshadowing: a hint of what is to occur in the FUTURE.
Creating Reader Interest • Irony: occurs when a character says one thing, but means the other. It also occurs when something happens that is the opposite of what is normally expected to happen. • Title: Used to create interest and curiosity. • Humour: often created by dialogue or by characters in ludicrous situations.