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Short StoriesShort Stories
Literary TermsLiterary Terms
Miss MottleMiss Mottle
Poland Seminary High SchoolPoland Seminary High School
The Five W’s
The 5 W’s
Who? – Who are the characters involved?
What? – What happens?
Where? – Where does the story take place?
When? – When is the story taking place?
Why? – Why do the characters act the way
that they do in the story?
Plot is the storyline or sequence of events that
take place in a story.
Ex. The monster, preparing to paralyze his latest challenger
looked at his victim and saw she was chewing gum.
We want to know what happens next.
Cause & Effect: A series of events in the plot,
where one event causes the next event to happen.
Conflict: A conflict, or struggle.
There are three types
1. Man vs. Man
For example, a fight
2. Man vs. Nature
For example, a tornado
3. Man vs. Self
For example, a desire to date a certain person might conflict
with the fear of rejection.
External Conflict: The conflict takes place
between the character and another person or
between a character and something non-
Internal Conflict: The conflict takes place
inside a character’s mind.
The introduction, where we’re EXPOSed to the
characters and essential details
2. Inciting Moment
aka – narrative hook
Where the action kicks into gear
The conflict is introduced here
Where it starts getting interesting
3. Rising Action
Where the story gets complicated and more
intense –Takes up the bulk of the story
The emotional peak of the story –Where the
conflict reaches its ultimate
5. Falling Action
“Tying up loose strings” – sorting out the
details that are left after the climax
Conflict is resolved, and the story has finished
Practice with Plot and Conflict
We are going to watch a brief music video by
the Arctic Monkeys. The video has all of the
elements of plot structure. I would like for you
to watch the clip and then complete the
following with your partner.
Identify the Plot Structure (6 Steps)
Exposition, Inciting Moment, Rising Action, Climax,
Falling Action, and Resolution
Identify a conflict in the clip and explain if it is
internal or external
How do we understand how to describe the
character’s values and beliefs and describing
Direct Characterization: The author tells us
directly what the character is like.
Indirect Characterization: The author
shows us a character, but allows us to decide
for ourselves to interpret what kind of person
we are meeting.
We understand a story better when we are able
to analyze character.
The basic: A character is any participant in a
3 Ways to think of characters
Static & Dynamic
Round & Flat
A character can be either
Static CharactersStatic Characters
These characters stay the sameThese characters stay the same
throughout the story.throughout the story.
Dynamic CharactersDynamic Characters
during theduring the
A character can be eitherA character can be either
These charactersThese characters
are many sidedare many sided
and complex.and complex.
Usually we seeUsually we see
they have virtuesthey have virtues
and faultsand faults
We see only one side, or trait, ofWe see only one side, or trait, of
these characters.these characters.
By putting the two characters next toBy putting the two characters next to
each other, the characteristic, oreach other, the characteristic, or
difference, is emphasized.difference, is emphasized.
Five Way to Characterize
1. Trait - a special quality or something special
about someone's personality.
Examples: Appearance, dress, speech…
2. Motivation - what causes someone to act in a
certain way. (It can be an emotion, desire, need,
etc. A motivation is the reason we do something.)
Example: "Sara was motivated to win the game because
she plays hard and had lost the last game to the other
3. Point of View - the side from which a story is told. It can affect
how facts are shown and how we look at the characters.
Example: "Because Tina told the teacher her version of the story first, I got
punished even though it wasn't my fault."
4. Relationships - the connection of people in friendship, family,
work, school, or other activities. How other people react to the
5. Conflict - when characters have different interests or goals.
Example: "My mom and I had a fight because I put a dent in the car and
didn't tell her. Now I feel bad when I come home from school."
The time and place.The time and place.
Often, setting is used to create a particular mood.Often, setting is used to create a particular mood.
1. Setting tells us where and when the story
Example: Rome, Italy; Lisbon, Ohio; San Diego, CA etc.
Time Period: Specific time
Example: Today, WWII, 1832 etc.
Socio-economic characteristics of the location:
Example: Wealthy suburbs or Depression dustbowl
The specific building, room and so on:
Example: a bus, a military base, the living room, etc.
Setting for Interpretation
1. Setting and character
Can be used to tell readers about the
"That evening T.J. smelled the air, his
nostrils dilating with the odor of the earth
under his feet. "It's spring," he said, and
there was a gladness rising in his voice that
filled us with the same feeling.”
“Antaeus” by Bordon Deal
Setting for Interpretation
2. Setting and Atmosphere
Setting can also provide atmosphere or
mood. Some make us feel fear or uneasy
“During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless
in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung
oppressively low in the heavens, I had been
alone, on horseback, through a dreary tract of
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
by Edgar Allan Poe
How is Setting Created?
Images: words that call forth a response
from our senses—sight, smell, touch,
hearing, and at times, even taste.
Examples: “soundless day,” “clouds hung
oppressively low,” “dull,” “dark,” “autumn.”
What do you imagine when you hear these terms?
1. Foreshadowing is a technique used by
writers to build up suspense, to create anxiety
as we read. Foreshadowing hints at what is to
2. Suspense: A writer holds us in suspense by
make us uncertain about—but very interested
in—what lies ahead.
3. Surprise Ending is one that makes sense
but could not have been predicted.
1. Irony: The difference between what we
expect and what actually happens.
2. Verbal Irony: when a person says one
thing but means another
For instance, let's say you received the worst
plate of food that you have ever received in your
life, and you said to your friend, "MM! I can't wait
to eat this!"
3. Situational Irony: reversing
expectations: Occurs when a situation turns
out to be just the opposite of what we expect.
Think of The Wizard of Oz. When anyone heard the
wizard’s name they were fearful, but when Dorothy
and her crew find the wizard, he is just a little con
4. Dramatic Irony: withholding
knowledge: When the audience knows
something that characters on stage or on screen
do not know.
Example: Think of popular horror flicks, like Scream.
Point of View
Narrator: whose view is the one we share.
1. The Omniscient Point of View:
The narrator is separate from the action of the story;
however, the narrator knows everything about every
Uses pronouns, such as “he, she, it, they etc.”
Point of View
2. The First-Person Point of View:
Narrator who is part of the action of the story and tells the
story from his/her perspective, using pronouns like "I,"
"me," "my" etc.
3. Third Person Limited
The narrator is separate from the action of the story, but
the narrator knows everything about one single
1. Unreliable Narrator
The reader has reason to not trust the narrator who
is telling the story.
This type of narrator proves to be reliable.
Theme: The central idea or
the main point of a literary
Why is the story put together
What do all of the elements
An author’s feeling or mood is indicated
through word choice.
When an object stands for something greater