Elements of Fiction Plot Theme Setting Characterization Point of View
Plot • What happens in the story.
Elements of the Plot • Exposition • Background information a reader must understand in order to know what is going on in the story • Introduces the characters, problem, and setting • Found in the beginning of the story • Rising Action • Events that occur when the main character tackles the problem (complications); level of excitement and suspense builds
Climax • The main character comes face to face with the problem; most exciting part of the story • Falling Action • Things begin to get back to normal; life goes on (even if the problem isn't solved) • Resolution • Loose ends are tied off; allows reader to clearly understand what happened
Theme • Moral or main idea of the story. • Doesn’t provide any plot developments and apply to many types of stories in almost any genre.
Characterization • Protagonist- the main character in the story • She or he is always involved in the main conflict and its resolution. • Antagonist -The person opposing the protagonist
Flat Characterization • A character who has one or two sides, representing one or two traits—often a stereotype. • Flat characters help move the plot along more quickly because the audience immediately understands what the character is about.
Round Characterization • A character who is complex and has many sides or traits with unpredictable behavior and a fully developed personality. • Antagonists are usually a round characterization.
Definitions Characterization is the process by which the author reveals the personality of the characters. There are two types of characterization: direct and indirect.
Direct Characterization Direct characterization is when the author TELLS the audience what the personality of the character is. Example: “The patient boy and quiet girl were both at the game.” The author is telling us that the boy is patient and the girl is kind.
Indirect Characterization Indirect characterization is when the author SHOWS things that reveal the personality of the character. There are FIVE different methods of indirect characterization: speech, thoughts, effect on other characters, actions, and looks. (STEAL)
Indirect Characterization Speech- What does the character say? How does the character speak? Example: “Hey, we can have lots of fun at camp this summer! I love being outside!” This shows us the character is upbeat and happy.
Indirect Characterization Thoughts- What is revealed through the character’s thoughts and feelings? Example: I wish it would stop raining. I am tired of sitting inside! This shows us the character is not happy about the situation.
Indirect Characterization Effect on Others- What is revealed through the character’s effect on other people? How do other characters feel or behave in reaction to the character? Example: The boy glared at his sister as she ate his dessert. This shows us that the character is upset about his sister’s behavior and inability to think of others.
Indirect Characterization Actions- What does the character do? How does the character behave? Example: The girl rode the lawn mower through the house and into the garage. This shows us the girl is not concerned with rules or safety.
Indirect Characterization Looks- What does the character look like? How does the character dress? Example: The little girl left the game with slumped shoulders and a frown on her face. This shows us the little girl is not enjoying herself and is upset.
The Difference Remember, the difference between direct characterization and indirect characterization is TELLING v. SHOWING! Indirect characterizations are like clues about the characters. There is no mystery with direct characterization because the author gives us the information we need to know!
Definitions • Foreshadowing: when an author mentions or hints at something that will happen later in the story
Hint • Now try breaking the word FLASHBACKapart. • FLASH: a quick glimpse. • BACK: a look back in the story at something that previously happened.
An Example… • And now you will see portions from the well known children’s story Little Red Riding Hood.
Little Red Riding Hood • Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived with her mother. Her mother asked her to take her old and lonely grandmother some food one day."Don't stop along the way. Go straight to your Grandma's house and back. Don't talk to any strangers and watch out for the wolf in the woods! Now get along!" Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing • The first set of underlined words is an example of foreshadowing. Little Red Riding Hood’s mother is warning her about the wolf in the woods, which hints at what may happen next.
Little Red Riding Hood • While she was walking through the woods, a wolf was walking past her. "I bet I could convince her to take the long way. Then I could get to her grandmother's house first and trick her into thinking that I was her grandma. That way I could have her and her grandma for a large feast,” he thought.
Little Red Riding Hood • The wolf went up to Little Red Riding Hood and told her that he knew a shortcut. Little Red Riding Hood thought back to what her mother told her. “Don’t talk to any strangers and watch out for the wolf in the woods!” But it was too late, she had already listened to the wolf’s directions. Flashback
Flashback • The second set of underlined words is an example of flashback. Little Red Riding Hood is thinking back to something that happened earlier in the story.
Little Red Riding Hood • Most know how the rest of the story ends. Little Red Riding Hood and her grandma are saved from the wolf. Hopefully you can understand foreshadowing and flashback now.
Point of View • First Person Point of View • The narrator tells the story and is a character in the story. (Pronouns: I, me, us, we, our, etc.) • Third Person Omniscient • The narrator is not a character in the story but can tell you the thoughts and actions of all characters at all times. (Pronouns: he, she, him, her, they, them, etc.) • Third Person Limited: • The narrator is not a character in the story but can tell you the thoughts and actions of a few key characters at all times. (Pronouns: he, she, him, her, they, them, etc.)
Setting • When the story takes place • Where the story took place • Contextor historical background in which the story is set provides us with additional plot information.
Conflict • The problems encountered by the characters in the story. • Two types • Internal • External
Internal Conflict • Character Vs. Self • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with her or his conscience.
External Conflict • Main character fights against something or struggles to overcome something outside of himself. • Character versus Nature • Character versus Character • Character versus Society • Character versus Technology • Character versus the Supernatural • Character versus Fate
Character vs. Nature • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with the elements of nature.
Character Vs. Character • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with others, especially the antagonist.
Character vs. Society • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with society as a whole.
Character Vs. Technology • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with technology.
Character Vs. Supernatural • The protagonist in the story experiences conflict with unnatural elements.
Character Vs. Fate • When the protagonist tries to break free of a predetermined path chosen before him prior to his knowledge. It can also be referred to as an issue between destiny and freewill.