There are several elements that make upa story. These include:› Characters› Setting› Plot› Conflict› Theme
A character is a person, or sometimeseven an animal, who takes part in theaction of a short story or other literarywork.
Majorcharacters takepart in most ofthe action andwe see or hearthem oftenMinorcharactersappear lessfrequently andplay smallerroles
Flat Characters – Characters who we donot know much about Round Characters – Characters who weknow everything about Dynamic Characters – Developingthrough the story Static Characters – Stays the samethroughout the story Foils – Characters that contrast eachother
Protagonist – themain character orhero of a story whostruggles with amajor conflict Antagonist – thecharacter whostruggles againstthe protagonist; thevillain
The setting of a short story is the time andplace in which it happens. Authors oftenuse descriptions of landscape, scenery,buildings, seasons or weather to providea strong sense of setting.
The setting of astory can be asvague as“London” or asspecific as “ABeach”
A plot is a series of events and characteractions that relate to the central conflict.
The conflict is a struggle between twopeople or things in a short story. The maincharacter is usually on one side of thecentral conflict.
On the other side, the main charactermay struggle against another importantcharacter, against the forces of nature,against society, or even againstsomething inside himself or herself(feelings, emotions, illness).
Click the books below to learn more aboutinternal & external conflicts!
A theme is the message, lesson, or moralthat an author is communicating througha story. Themes present a deepermeaning to a reader, andrequire you to think aboutwhat you have learnedwhile reading.
Theme is what makes literaturememorable. It may be difficult toremember the characters in a story, butwe will always remember what we havelearned by reading it. The theme is presented as a sentence. Itmay be stated directly, or it may beimplied. Readers build connections with storiesthrough universal themes.
These fables are known for their morals,and usually state the theme in the finalline of the story. Not all morals are stated in the story.Some morals are learned while reading.
One hot summer’s day a Fox wasstrolling through an orchard till hecame to a bunch of Grapes justripening on a vine which had beentrained over a lofty branch. “Just thething to quench my thirst,” quoth he.Drawing back a few paces, he took arun and a jump, and just missed thebunch. Turning round again with a One,Two, Three, he jumped up, but with nogreater success. Again and again hetried after the tempting morsel, but atlast had to give it up, and walked awaywith his nose in the air, saying: “I amsure they are sour.”It is easy to despise what you cannotget.
“The Fox and the Grapes” had a THEME thatstated: “it is easy to despise what you cannotget” The Fox was a CHARACTER in the story. The SETTING was an orchard during the summertime. The PLOT consisted of a Fox walking through anorchard, seeing grapes that would quench histhirst, jumping to try to get them, failing, andwalking away from them. The CONFLICT was the Fox vs. nature. He wasunable to reach the grapes that he wanted.
Now you’re a professional at knowing whatelements are in a story. All you need toknow are the who, what, where, when,how & why’s of a story. Just rememberthat characters are the people/animals,setting answers where & when, theme isthe moral, plot is what is happening, andthe conflict is the problem!