The Short Story English I
The Definition • Short Story- a fictional prose narrative containing less than ____________words • Fictional= • Prose= • Narrative=
General Facts about Short Stories A short story usually has: • Very few ________________ • A single _________________ • One major _______________
The Elements of a Short Story 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. Setting • Setting= the _________, _________ and general background information in a story • Example- a town, city, or country • Example- a historical time period • Example- a particular social status or lifestyle
The Purposes of a Setting 1. 2. 3. 4.
A few examples of techniques to create an effective setting • Film directors use many of the same techniques writers use to create an atmosphere. • Visual Surroundings and Sounds…
Characterization • Characterization- the method an author uses to acquaint his or her readers with the characters in the story • Example: Pieces of information in the story that let the reader know about a character
Types of Characterization • ____________________- the author gives clues about the character but places the burden for understanding the character upon the reader. Example: Clues given through a character’s actions, words, etc.
Types of Characterization • _____________________- the author clearly states the entire description of a character. Example: “The man was tired; he had not slept in days.”
Methods of Characterization • 1. The character’s ____________________ (what the character looks like) • 2. The character’s ___________________, what he or she _____________, and what he or she __________________ (as portrayed through events in the story) • 3. What the author directly tells the reader • 4. The character’s _______________
Tests to Determine the Main Character • 1. He or she will be in ______________ scenes in the story. • 2. Something will happen to the character either _______________________. • 3. He or she will make a ____________ or important decision and cause the action in the story.
3. Theme • Theme- the central idea, universal truth, or “message” within the story • The theme of the story may be ____________ or ______________. • Implied themes are suggested indirectly through the experiences of the characters or through the events and setting of the work.
Application of Theme • A story’s theme is the idea you can take from the story and apply within some part of your life- or to humanity in general. • Example: The “moral” of the story. • Examples of general themes: • Friendship • Love • Revenge • Growing up
4. Point of View • Point of view- the voice of the story; the author’s choice of narrator for the story
Types of Point of View • ________________- an actual character within the story (a limited point of view) • Example: “Scout” in To Kill a Mockingbird- she tells the story from her point of view
Types of Point of View • _________________- “all knowing,” the narrator stands out of the story and knows everything about all of the characters and action • This point of view is also called _________________ ______________________________. • Example: In “Star Wars,” words scroll across the screen at the beginning telling us the background story… “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” (Lucas)
Types of Point of View • _____________________- the narrator is outside of the story and only has a limited amount of information (ex. only about one character or event). This is also called ____________________________. • Example: The short story, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
Plot Structure through Short Stories (Source adapted from: Readwritethink.com, used with permission) Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story.
Chronological order Flashback In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in
Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid-shaped. This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.
Aristotle’s Unified Plot The basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis.
Freytag’s Plot Structure Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a story’s plot.
Modified Plot Structure Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.
Plot Components Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in action Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Conflict / Inciting Incident:something that captures the reader’s attention and keeps the story moving Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads (Dénouement)
Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Human vs. Nature Human vs. Society Internal Conflict Human vs. Self Types of Conflict Interpersonal / External Conflict Human vs. Human