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1
5 Important Elements
of a Short Story
The 5 key elements that make up a short story are:
Characters
Setting
Conflict
Theme
Plot
2
Character
 A character is a person, or sometimes an animal, who
takes part in the action of a short story or other literary
work.
 Characters and how we get to know them:
 Through the author’s physical description of them
 Through their actions
 Through their words (dialogue)
 Through their inner thoughts
 Through what other characters say and think about them
3
Setting
 Setting is the time and place
that a story occurs.
 Authors often use
descriptions of landscape,
scenery, buildings, seasons
or weather to provide a
strong sense of setting.
4
Theme
 Theme is the meaning behind events and
characters’ actions in a story.
 The theme is the central idea, message, or
purpose in a short story.
 A theme can be expressed as a general statement
about people or life.
 It is NOT plot summary.
 It can be either directly or indirectly stated by
the author. Most likely indirectly.
5
Conflict
 Conflict is any of the problems that a character encounters in a
story.
 The conflict is a struggle between two people or things in a short
story.
 The main character is on one side of the main conflict.
 Conflicts can be:
 1. External – conflict with others and with nature
 2. Internal – conflict within themselves
 The main character may struggle:
 against another important character
 against the forces of nature
 against society
 against something inside himself or herself (feelings, emotions, illness).
6
Plot
 Plot is a pattern of events that develop from the
interactions between characters.
 A plot is a series of events and character actions that
relate to the central conflict.
 There are 5 elements of plot:
 Exposition
 Rising Action
 Climax
 Falling Action
 Conclusion
7
Plot Diagram
5 Elements of Plot
8
Exposition
 The start or introduction of the story.
 The background information that the reader
must have in order to understand the story.
 This is where characters and setting are
introduced.
9
Rising Action
 All of the events that take place leading up to
the climax.
 This is where the reader is introduced to the
conflict.
10
Climax
 The most exciting part of the story.
 The turning point in the story.
 Here the story is turned in a different direction,
toward the conclusion.
11
Falling Action
 The immediate reaction to the climax.
 All the actions that occur after the climax and
before the conclusion of the story.
12
Resolution
 The conclusion of the plot.
 Loose ends are tied up.
 There might not be a clear
resolution. This is called a
cliffhanger ending.

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5 Elements of a Short Story.ppt

  • 1. 1 5 Important Elements of a Short Story The 5 key elements that make up a short story are: Characters Setting Conflict Theme Plot
  • 2. 2 Character  A character is a person, or sometimes an animal, who takes part in the action of a short story or other literary work.  Characters and how we get to know them:  Through the author’s physical description of them  Through their actions  Through their words (dialogue)  Through their inner thoughts  Through what other characters say and think about them
  • 3. 3 Setting  Setting is the time and place that a story occurs.  Authors often use descriptions of landscape, scenery, buildings, seasons or weather to provide a strong sense of setting.
  • 4. 4 Theme  Theme is the meaning behind events and characters’ actions in a story.  The theme is the central idea, message, or purpose in a short story.  A theme can be expressed as a general statement about people or life.  It is NOT plot summary.  It can be either directly or indirectly stated by the author. Most likely indirectly.
  • 5. 5 Conflict  Conflict is any of the problems that a character encounters in a story.  The conflict is a struggle between two people or things in a short story.  The main character is on one side of the main conflict.  Conflicts can be:  1. External – conflict with others and with nature  2. Internal – conflict within themselves  The main character may struggle:  against another important character  against the forces of nature  against society  against something inside himself or herself (feelings, emotions, illness).
  • 6. 6 Plot  Plot is a pattern of events that develop from the interactions between characters.  A plot is a series of events and character actions that relate to the central conflict.  There are 5 elements of plot:  Exposition  Rising Action  Climax  Falling Action  Conclusion
  • 8. 8 Exposition  The start or introduction of the story.  The background information that the reader must have in order to understand the story.  This is where characters and setting are introduced.
  • 9. 9 Rising Action  All of the events that take place leading up to the climax.  This is where the reader is introduced to the conflict.
  • 10. 10 Climax  The most exciting part of the story.  The turning point in the story.  Here the story is turned in a different direction, toward the conclusion.
  • 11. 11 Falling Action  The immediate reaction to the climax.  All the actions that occur after the climax and before the conclusion of the story.
  • 12. 12 Resolution  The conclusion of the plot.  Loose ends are tied up.  There might not be a clear resolution. This is called a cliffhanger ending.