The Elements of Fiction - An Overview

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The Elements of Fiction - An Overview

  1. 1. Cindy Cruz-Cabrera About.me/cindycruzcabrera / en.gravatar.com/cindycatz
  2. 2. 1. Prose fiction (narrative fiction)  Novels  Short stories  Myths  Parables  Romances  Epics 2. Poetry 3. Drama 4. Non-fiction Narratives
  3. 3.  A basis in realism (“versimilitude”)  Even fantasy is derived from a perception of life and action that is ultimately real.  Art imitates life.  Life imitates art.
  4. 4.  Original meaning: “Anything made up, crafted, or shaped.”  The essence of fiction: NARRATION  Modern fiction: HUMAN NATURE  Complex motives  The psychological and highly individual  NOVEL vs. SHORT STORY
  5. 5.  Levels of reality  Postulate (given premise)  Symbolic  Miraculous  Possible future  Behavior  Alternate reality  They remain stories about characters you find in real life.
  6. 6.  Protagonist  Antagonist  Flat  Round  Dynamic  Stock  Foil  Sidekick
  7. 7. DESIRE  A character is someone who wants, and that’s what a character is.  The nature of one’s desire determines the nature of his morality.  Deep desire and immediate desire.  __(name) __ is a __(adjective)__- _____ year old (noun) who wants _______________.  Desire >>> Goal >>> Action
  8. 8. VOICE, ACTION, THOUGHT  the point of view of the character  Words, actions and things, which can be seen and heard, express and reveal character and feeling that can neither be seen nor heard.  What a character says vs. what a character does  What is expressed voluntarily and involuntarily  DISCOVERY and DECISION
  9. 9.  Appearance, speech, action, and thought  CONFLICT  Thought is most frequently at odds with one or more of the other three.  Mannerisms  Small acts that betray feelings
  10. 10.  Place and time of a story  The natural or artificial scenery or environment in which characters in literature live and move. Period in history  Geographic location  Characteristics  Climate  Political, social, and /or historical context  Mood / atmosphere
  11. 11. Natural  Nature itself is seen as a force that shapes action and therefore directs and redirects lives.  A deep wood  An open road  A lake  A mountain top
  12. 12. Manufactured  Manufactured things always reflect the people who made them, live in them, and ultimately the social and political orders that maintain conditions.  A building  A richly decorated house
  13. 13.  Who is standing where to watch the scene?  Voice of the teller, intended listener, distance or closeness of both action and diction First person  Central narrator  Peripheral narrator  Stream of consciousness
  14. 14. Second person Third person  Omniscient  Limited omniscient  Objective  Dramatic  Is the narrator reliable? Can you trust the narrator?
  15. 15.  The interrelationship of incidents and characters within a total design is the plot of the story.  A series of lifelike actions or incidents which in total make up the story  A map, scheme or blueprint
  16. 16.  Development and resolution of a conflict in which a PROTAGONIST is engaged in a struggle of some sort, which is directed at an ANTAGONIST.  A pattern of cause and effect that can be traced in a sequence or chronology
  17. 17.  The way the plot is assembled  Direct chronological order  Out-of-sequence events  Circular time  Remembrances / flashbacks  Overheard conversations  Speeches  Fragments of letters  ETC.
  18. 18. Conversation Language of dialogue indicates:  Intelligence  Articulateness  Educational levels  Emotional states  Limited or disadvantaged background  Regional location  Jargon  Cliché  Private, intimate expressions show closeness.
  19. 19.  The suspense, anxiety, nervousness, strain, urgency, excitement, or fear that grips us as we read.  The careful planting of questions in the reader’s mind.  What hooks readers of any age and keeps them turning pages  The presence of conflict  The driving force – it propels the plot and grabs the reader’s interest
  20. 20.  Outer goal  The stated character’s objective  The outer goal is resolved in the climax  Inner desire  Exists alongside the outer goal  May be consistent or at odds with the outer goal  A character may or may not be aware of this  External conflict  Comes from obstacles between characters and their goals  Source may be environment or other characters
  21. 21.  Internal conflict  Comes from the obstacles characters create for themselves through self-sabotage or an incompatibility between the outer goal and inner desire.  Stakes  Characters at risk of losing something of great significance to them if their goals or desires aren’t met  Stakes increase as when protagonists near their goals
  22. 22.  Roberts, Edgar V. and Jacobs, Henry E. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Eagleton Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1986.  Burroway, Janet. Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft. New York: Longman, 2003.  Peterson, Ralph and Eeds, Maryann. Grand Conversations. Ontario: Scholastic, 1990.
  23. 23.  http://www.fictionfactor.com/guests/tensio n.html  http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/tens ion.htm  http://suite101.com/article/how-to-build- tension-in-fiction-a83387  http://andreajwenger.com/2011/07/08/five -key-elements-to-creating-tension-in- fiction/

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