All stories have a plot. That plot is made up of several parts. They are as follows…
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
The plot is the chain of related events in a story. It is what happens first, second, third, etc. For example, the plot of the fairytale Cinderella is:
Cinderella’s mother dies Her father marries a woman with two daughters. The daughters are cruel to Cinderella. They all get invited to a ball. What comes next?
The exposition or basic situation occurs at the
beginning of a story. It includes who the characters are, what they want, where the story is taking place, and what the basic issue is.
The setting is where and when the story takes place. If
the story is longer, the setting can change. The setting can affect the overall feeling, or mood, of a story.
For example: The grass glistened green with spring. The
morning sun rose over the horizon as the horse and carriage made their way over the hill.
A conflict is a problem or struggle that the characters
are facing. Each story has at least one major conflict and often contains smaller conflicts as well. There are two types of conflict.
An internal conflict is a conflict that a character has internally (inside of himself or herself ). This often has to do with a character’s decisions or emotions.
For example: Johnny couldn’t decide whether or not he was going to steal a spoonful of mayonnaise from the grocery store aisle.
An external conflict is a struggle the character(s)
experience with something outside of himself. This struggle can be Man vs. Man Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Society Man vs. Machine
The rising action are the events that happen in a story
before the climax occurs. They are often little conflicts or complications that lead to the biggest conflict (the climax).
The climax of a story is the moment when the tension
is at its peak. It is often the point where the main conflict is about to be resolved. What’s the climax of “The Three Little Pigs”?
The falling action of a story are the events that happen
after the climax. They lead to the ending of the story.
The resolution is the ending of the story. It is how the
major conflict is solved. What is the resolution of “Cinderella”?
One way to think about plot is as a mountain. It looks
The protagonist is the “good guy” in the story. It is the
character that the reader usually cares most about. There can be more than one.
The antagonist is the “bad guy” in a story. He/She is
usually the rival of the protagonist. There can be more than one antagonist.
Who tells the story?
Point of View
The point of view of a story, novel, or poem is who
narrates (or tells) the story. Sometimes the story is told from the point of view of one of the characters and sometimes it is an outside narrator. By choosing point-of-view carefully, authors can change the meaning and power of their writing.
Third Person Limited
Third person limited point-of-view is when there is a
narrator who is outside of the story, but that narrator only stays with one character. It can only see what is happening around that one character and can only see into his/her thoughts. For example: Jimmy rode his bike down the hill, screeching his tires when he reached the bottom, his eyes widened in shock. Before him stood an Oompa Loompa, armed with chocolate bars to tempt Jimmy with. Jimmy wondered if he could be strong enough to resist the delicious aroma.
Third Person Limited
The way I like to think about third person limited P.O.V.
is to think of the sun as the narrator. During this type of P.O.V., it can only follow one character and see inside of his/her thoughts.
Third Person Omniscient P.O.V.
Third person omniscent point-of-view is when there is a
narrator who is outside of the story, but that narrator can follow any character. It can see what is happening with all characters and can see into all of their thoughts. For example: Jimmy rode his bike down the hill, screeching his tires when he reached the bottom, his eyes widened in shock. Before him stood an Oompa Loompa, armed with chocolate bars to tempt Jimmy with. Jimmy wondered if he could be strong enough to resist the delicious aroma. The Oompa Loompa giggled to himself because he knew Jimmy would give into his demands. Jimmy would wash his car for him; his Mini Cooper would sparkle!
Third Person Omniscient
The way I like to think about third person limited P.O.V. is
to think of the sun as the narrator. During this type of P.O.V., it can follow all characters and see inside of their thoughts
First Person P.O.V.
First person point-of-view is when there is a narrator
who is one of the characters from the story. This P.O.V. uses “I”. For example: Jimmy rode his bike down the hill, screeching his tires when he reached the bottom, his eyes widened in shock. I stood before him, my face painted orange, my eyebrows bright white. I was armed with chocolate bars to tempt Jimmy. I giggled to myself; I knew Jimmy couldn’t resist. My Cooper would be clean!
First Person P.O.V.
The way I like to think about first person P.O.V. is to
imagine being the character who’s narrating. During this type of P.O.V., the whole story is given through one character’s observations and opinions.
Foreshadowing happens when an author gives a reader
hints at what will happen later in the story. Foreshadowing helps to keep the reader predicting what might happen and makes the reader want to continue reading.
For example: Jimmy walked down the darkened street, the
clouds above him drifting to cover the moon. Ahead, Jimmy thought he saw a movement, but he pushed through his nerves and kept walking.
Suspense is the feeling of anticipation in a person as he/she reads a story. It is the feeling of being ‘hooked’ into the story and not being able to wait to see what happens next. It is that on-the-edge-
of-your-seat feeling. Authors create suspense by foreshadowing and including mystery in stories.
Characterization is the way in which an author reveals
information about and develops a character. There are two different ways they do this…
When an author uses direct characterization, she says
directly what the character is like. The reader does not have to guess. For example: Jimmy was a smart and responsible seven-year-old boy.
When using indirect characterization, the reader must
infer (guess) information about the character based on his actions, speech, and interactions with other characters. For example: Jimmy woke up at 5:30 in the morning to clean his room, study his weekly spelling words, and comb his hair into just the perfect shape.
Subjective writing is any writing that reveals an
author’s opinions, feelings, and point of view.
Objective writing is writing that is unbiased and
factual, without regard to personal opinion or feelings.
Prose is all writing except for poetry.
Figurative language is language that helps the reader
form mental pictures; simile and metaphor are examples of this. For example: The mist shrouded the field, earth’s foggy blanket of early morning.