Short Story Notes
Elements of Fiction
Short Story- a fictional account of events
written in prose paragraphs
Plot- a sequence of events in a literary work
Setting- time and place in which a story,
novel, or play takes place
Exposition- is the setting, characters, background
information and introduces basic story situation.
Rising Action- is the series of events that lead to
the climax of the story. The conflict of the story is
revealed. It is near the beginning.
Climax- is the turning point of the story; highest
point of interest or suspense. The problem begins
to be solved. It is a single event.
Falling Action- is the events that lead to the
resolution. The reader can usually guess the
outcome of the story.
Resolution- is the very end of the story. This
event solves the problem introduced in the
rising action. (Denouncement- an end to the end
Suspense- interest in the outcome of a story;
suspense builds as the events of the plot unfold.
3. Background Information
4. Basic Story situation
Flashback- a scene that breaks the normal time
order of a plot to show a past event.
Foreshadowing- hints or clues about what will
happen later in the story.
*Ex: bad weather; overhearing someone’s
Theme- the central idea of a literary work; usually
expressed as a generalization about life.
Mood- the feeling created in the reader by a literary work.
Writers use five different ways to create mood.
5. plot events
Tone- how a writer discusses feelings towards a specific
subject (Ex: respectful). Tone is reflected in word
Irony- is a contrast between what is expected and what
actually exists or happens.
Conflict- a struggle between two opposing forces.
External Conflict- occurs when a character struggles with
an outside force. (3 kinds)
1. Man vs Nature Ex: man and tornado
2. Man vs Man Ex: argument or contest
3. Man vs Society Ex: trying to change a law
Internal Conflict- a struggle that takes place in a person’s
mind. Ex: choosing a college.
Point of View- the perspective or vantage point from
which the story is told.
3 Kinds of POV:
*First Person: the narrator is a character in the
story. We see the story through his/her eyes.
Pronouns used: I, my, me, myself, we, us, mine, our.
*Omniscient Third Person- the narrator is not a
character in the story, but views the events of the story
through the eyes of more than one character.
*omniscient- all knowing
*Limited-Third Person- the narrator is not a
character, but he/she presents the story from a
characters pov. Pronouns used- he, she, they,
them, their, his, hers, it, its, him.
Antagonist- the adversary/opponent in the story.
Characterization- is the act of creating and
developing a character.
Direct Characterization- the writer states
Indirect Characterization- the writer allows
you to draw your own conclusion based on the
information presented by the author. ( Inference)
Six Ways to Revealing Characterization:
1. State directly what the character is like.
2. Reader becomes familiar with the character by
thoughts and feelings.
3. Let the reader hear the character speak
4. Show how the character acts.
5. Describe the appearance of the character.
6. What the other characters reveal about