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SHORT STORY ELEMENTS_ PLOT GRAPH

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					                               SHORT STORY ELEMENTS, PLOT GRAPH
                                             AND
                        AT-A-GLANCE GRAMMAR TIPS FOR IMPROVING WRITING

You are required to keep this document and all other informational handouts, etc in your 3-ring binder at all
times. The 3-ring binder is required and is to be brought to class daily. Quizzes, tests, homework, class work,
projects, etc. are designed using the information covered and received in class. ONE copy of each document will
be provided.

Short Story Terms:

    1.     Plot – The summary of the story (sequence of events.) Example – In the epic poem The Odyssey, a difficult
           ocean journey is taken by the story’s hero Odysseus and he and his crew experience many strange and
           challenging things along the way.
    2. Theme – An emotion and/or the central message in a story; what the author is trying to get across to or teach
           the reader. Example – In The Most Dangerous Game a theme could be “Triumph over seemingly impossible
           odds.”
    3. Setting – Where (locale) and when (time period) a story takes place. Example – In A Separate Peace the
           setting is the Devon (boarding) school.
    4. Mood – The feeling(s) that a piece of literature arouses in the reader (the story is happy, sad, etc.) Example –
           In A Separate Peace the mood could be described as “thoughtful.”
    5. Tone – The overall effect of the story as created by the author. Example – A Separate Peace has a serious
           tone. It is not a comedy (take note of the author’s word choices as well as the subject matter.)
    6. Imagery – Words or phrases that a writer chooses to create pictures in the reader’s mind.
    7. Foreshadowing – Hints in a story of what is to come later in that story. In The Odyssey, gods and goddesses
           give many hints and warnings about things to come.
    8. Point-of-View – First person, third person limited, third person omniscient. Who is telling the story? This is
           revealed in the first few sentences!
    9. Personification – Objects or concepts that are given human qualities in literature. Example – “As the sun
           rose in the east, it batted its beautiful, warm eyes while thoughtfully providing warmth for me.”
    10. Conflict – Internal (Turmoil within the mind of a character, such as Odysseus’ feelings for some of the
           goddesses he encounters in The Odyssey.) External (Outside struggle of a character such as Rainsford’s
           physical struggles against Zaroff in The Most Dangerous Game.)
    11. Plot line – Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution
    12. Symbolism – Person, place, thing, event that stands for something, i.e., the American flag symbolizes
           democracy and patriotism.
    13. Simile – Uses “like” or “as” to compare two unlike things, i.e., “He stood before the judge shaking nervously
           like a wet cat.”
    14. Metaphor – Compares tow unlike things, i.e., “The black bat night was very, very spooky.”
    15. Flashback – Going back in time for the purpose of making something clearer in the present.
    16. Narration – Writing (or speaking) that relates an event or series of events in a story.
    17. Moral – Lesson that an author is trying to get across to the reader such as in the short story, “The Scarlet
           Ibis.” “Cherish the moments that you have with family members as long as you can because you never know
           what will happen in the future.”
    18. Suspense – Tension created by the author for dramatic effect – suspense keeps readers interested and
           involved in stories.
    19. Short Story - Brief fictional work.
    20. Irony – Verbal (Writer says one thing but means another.) Dramatic (Reader knows characters’
           mistakes/misunderstandings.) Situational (Characters wind up in confusing/ironic situations.)
    21. Dialogue – The conversation carried on by characters in a literary work.
    22. Transitions – Words or phrases used to assist with “connected” writing that flows well from one idea to
           another. Example: “The first thing that I’ll do when I’m on vacation is rest. Later in the week I will go
           shopping. After I am finished shopping in the morning, I’m going to need to eat because I’ll need energy to
           shop through the afternoon…”
    23. Fiction – A tale or story created in the mind of the writer/author. The short stories that we are reading are
    fictitious.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Short story elements are not isolated terms! Plot, theme,
    tone, mood, setting, point-of-view and others are also used when describing
    the parts of a drama, play, epic, poems, etc.       These terms overlap in
    relationship to the different genres of writing.
                                        PLOT GRAPH/PLOT LINE

                                  SHORT STORY, NOVEL, EPIC, DRAMA


                                               Climax



                 Rising Action ______                                    Falling Action_______


Exposition____                                                      Falling Action/Denoument ____

				
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