Adapted by C. Heaton from Five Universal Facts of Fiction: What Can You Say About a Story? by Steve Peha, ttms.org 2011, _______________________ HBHS Grade 10 Quick & Easy Guide to Writing About Literature
<ul><li>Book reviewers can review books of any genre, but most review fiction. There are many ways of looking at a work of fiction. </li></ul><ul><li>One tool reviewers use is called The Five Facts of Fiction . It’s a set of five ideas that, when applied to any story, help the reviewer develop a complex critical interpretation. This slideshow adapts the 5FF for use with any piece of literature. </li></ul>
Fact #1: It is all about the character. <ul><li>Who is the main character? What does he or she look like? Can you describe this character’s personality? How did this character get to be this way? </li></ul><ul><li>The more you know about a character, the better your review will be. </li></ul>
Fact #2: It is about what a character wants. <ul><li>What does this character want more than anything else? Why do they want it? </li></ul><ul><li>Some characters want a lot, some want a little. It doesn’t really matter as long as what your character wants is extremely important . The more important it is, the more your character will do to get it, and that's what makes the plot so interesting. </li></ul>
Fact #3: It is about how a character gets or does not get what he or she wants. <ul><li>Is this character successful? Or does the character’s quest end in failure? </li></ul><ul><li>Either way, it can still be a great story. The trick is to understand how a character succeeds or fails. What obstacles does the character encounter? What solutions does the character craft to meet the challenges of their world? </li></ul>
Fact #4: It is about how a character changes. <ul><li>How does the character change as a result of what happens? </li></ul><ul><li>What was this character like at the beginning? What is this character like at the end? What have they learned? </li></ul><ul><li>What did you learn from reading the story? </li></ul>
Fact #5: It is about the world an author creates. <ul><li>How did the author create the world of the book ? What kinds of people, places, things, and ideas did the author include? Now think beyond the elementary school concept of a setting. What successes, disasters, and conflicts does this world have? What are the good things in this world? What are the bad things? </li></ul><ul><li>Complete the following sentence: “This is a world where…” Remember: A story must be true to its world. </li></ul>
The Five Facts of Harry Potter <ul><li>Let's see how one of the world's most popular stories — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling — holds up to an analysis using the 5FF tool. </li></ul>
Fact #1: It is all about character. <ul><li>Harry Potter: 12 years old, black tousled hair, bright green eyes, glasses, lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. Naïve, kind, compassionate, curious. He is famous in the wizard world because, as an infant, he somehow survived an attack by Voldemort, the world’s most powerful evil wizard. </li></ul>
Fact #2: It is all about what a character wants. <ul><li>Harry wants a family. Orphaned as an infant when his parents are killed by Voldemort, he is sent to live with his abusive uncle and aunt, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, and their obnoxious son, Dudley. </li></ul>
Fact #3: It is all about how a character gets or does not get what he or she wants. <ul><li>During his first year at Hogwarts, Harry forms sibling-like bonds with Hermione Granger and the Weasley brothers. Hagrid, the school groundskeeper, is like an uncle or a big brother to Harry. Dumbledore takes on a fatherly role. Together, these people become the family Harry lost. </li></ul>
Fact #4: It is all about how a character changes. <ul><li>In the beginning, Harry is shy, sullen, and scared, a miserable and hopeless victim of his unfortunate circumstances. </li></ul><ul><li>At the end, Harry is no longer helpless, hopeless, and hapless. </li></ul><ul><li>In his year at Hogwarts he has gained tremendous self-confidence and a better understanding of who he is and what his life is all about. The lesson of the story is this: If we’re lucky enough to find out who we really are, and if we have the courage to claim our true power and embrace our destiny, we can take control of our world instead of letting it take control of us. </li></ul>
Fact #5: It is all about a world an author creates. <ul><li>This is a world where there’s always something supernatural or someone magical around to save the right people when they’re in trouble. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a world where courage is rewarded, friendship is valued, and good triumphs over evil. </li></ul><ul><li>Harry lives his life stretched between the ordinary world of ordinary humans and the extraordinary world of wizards and magic. Each world has its challenges and rewards for Harry as he struggles to find safety, happiness, and a sense of belonging in both. </li></ul>
Practice using the 5FF tool: <ul><li>Pick any novel you’ve read all the way through and still remember well. You can even use a movie if you want. Run it through the 5FF Tool and see how your story holds up. You’ll be surprised by what you learn and how easy it is to develop a complex critical interpretation when you use this tool. </li></ul>
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