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Exploring short stories

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Review of Short Stories

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Exploring short stories

  1. 1.  The short story is a work of fiction that is shorter and more limited than a novel. › Usually focuses on one important event in the lives of a small number of central characters › Short stories vary in length but usually short enough to be able to be read in one sitting
  2. 2. Character- who the story is about  Conflict- when central problem causes action  Setting- where the action takes place  Point of View- who is telling the story  Theme- what the story is really about 
  3. 3. Character- the most important element of the short story, the people the story is about  Characters should come alive. You should have a real life connection with them. 
  4. 4.  The protagonist is the “good guy” › Protagonist- main character of the story  The antagonist is the “bad guy”
  5. 5.    Characterization- the process by which authors communicate their characters to readers Direct Characterization- occurs when the author tells readers about a character directly Indirect characterization- lets readers draw their own conclusions from clues in the story, such as a character’s appearance, tone of voice, or behavior: › Mr. Smith laughed meanly and kicked a stray dog out of the way as he walked down the street.
  6. 6.  Conflict provides the tension and drama that stories are built upon Character Society Against Character Self Nature
  7. 7.  Setting- environment in which a story takes place (time and place of the story) › Short stories usually have only one major setting  A story’s setting can have both physical and psychological effects on the action and character of the story
  8. 8. By using realistic details, the author makes the story more believable.  Details help readers imagine that events are happening in a specific place.  By describing the setting in images that appeal to the senses, the author creates a vivid atmosphere that readers can associate with settings in their own experiences. 
  9. 9. Point of View- the perspective from which the story is told  A story’s point of view is called omniscient when the author is outside the story and presents the thoughts of all the characters involved.  Other points of view are called limited when the story is told from the viewpoint of one character who can see only a part of the whole story. 
  10. 10.  “That rotten wolf tried to eat us!”  “I was framed! I just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar!”
  11. 11. Theme is the message the author intends to communicate A story’s themes are often universal truths. The theme is often suggested by specifics in the story. The struggle between good and evil is a common theme in literature. The differences between nature and civilized society is a common theme in short stories The conflict between individual and the community is another common theme
  12. 12.  The structure represents how the story is told. It is the framework for the story. Most structures include: › Exposition › Rising Action › Climax › Falling Action › Resolution
  13. 13.  Is the sequence of events in a story, each event causing or leading to the next
  14. 14.  An introduction to people, places, and situations that are important to the plot of a story, novel, or play.
  15. 15.  The point at which the author catches our attention
  16. 16.  Adds complications to the problems and increases our interest in the story
  17. 17.  The point of our highest interest and greatest emotional involvement in the story
  18. 18.  Relates the events that are the results of the climax
  19. 19.  Ends the falling action of a story by telling or implying the final outcome
  20. 20.  Suspense involves techniques that authors use to keep readers wondering what will happen next
  21. 21. The climax of a short story is that dramatic moment when the tension reaches its peak and the conflict comes to a head.  Since the construction of the short story is limited, the short story usually only has one major climax. 
  22. 22. The resolution follows the climax. It shows how the conflict winds down and the story ends.  Sometimes the resolution is not clearly defined, leaving readers to decide for themselves how to interpret the ending. 
  23. 23. Style is defined by the characteristic ways in which an author uses language. Almost like authors’ fingerprints, style identifies their individual writing as their own.  Writers’ styles are made up of such elements as the quality of their vocabulary, the length and complexity of their sentences, and the imagery and symbols they use. 
  24. 24.  Foreshadowing is a technique used to give readers clues about events that will happen later in the story. › “A dark cloud gathering in the sky” could be introduced to suggest that the light mood in the story is about to change.
  25. 25. Dialogue refers to the actual words that characters speak. The central conflict of the story can be powerfully dramatized in the story’s dialogue.  The way individuals speak can also be an important clue about their characters. 
  26. 26. Authors use description of characters, settings, and action to make the story more vivid for the reader  The best writers are skilled observers. They are able to select just the right details to capture the essence of people and places in their stories. 
  27. 27.  Imagery is the use of selected details to describe one thing in terms of another. This comparison helps evoke additional meanings and feelings › She swam as gracefully as a swan. › He ate like a pig.
  28. 28.  A symbol is an image or object that also stands for something larger than itself › A flag is a symbol for the country it represents.  In many short stories, authors also use symbols to represent general ideas such as “good” or “evil”
  29. 29. Tone expresses the writer’s attitude toward such story elements as characters, setting, or a situation.  Tone can range from playful or humorous to serious or tragic.  An author’s tone is communicated by clues in the style of the story, such as word choice or imagery. 
  30. 30.  Irony is a particularly effective kind of tone in which the person speaking intends a meaning that is opposite to the words he or she actually says › Opposite of what is expected  Authors often use an ironic tone to surprise the reader and emphasize a point › Mr. Pennypincher considered himself to be a generous man; there wasn’t anyone he wouldn’t offer his smile to.
  31. 31.  Dramatic Irony is another technique that increases suspense by letting the reader know more about the present situation than the character knows. › The reader might know that there is a bomb in a character’s briefcase when the character himself does not!
  32. 32. Exposition- introduces the characters, setting, and background situation  Complication- introduces complications and obstacles that increase the tension of the story conflict  Climax- the moment in the story when tension rises to its highest point and the conflict comes to a head  Resolution- describes how the conflict is finally resolved and the story comes to a close. 
  33. 33.     Foreshadowing Protagonist Conflict Characters     Setting Climax Point of view Antagonist

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