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1st quarter lit. terms


the series of events that make up a story


the players in the story

dynamic character

A character who undergoes an important and basic change in personality or outlook.

flat character

typically a secondary character; a character who is not developed and may represent a stereotype

round character

a character who is developed enough throughout the text to seem like a "real" person; the author gives us details about thoughts and personality

static character

A character who stays the same throughout the story


a struggle between two opposing forces; it moves the plot forward


the "big idea" or lesson learned; connects the story to "real life"


the time and location in which a story takes place


background information you need to understand the story

rising action

all of the events that lead to the high point (climax) in the story


the highest point of the action in the story (cliffhanger)

falling action

all of the events that follow the high point (climax) in the story and lead to resolution


the outcome or result of a complex situation or sequence of events occurring near the end of the plot; a French word meaning "unknotting" or "unwinding"


the final outcome of the conflict in the story

first person point of view

the narrator of the story is a character in the story; uses pronouns like "I" and "me;" cannot always be trusted

second person point of view

the author is speaking directly to the reader and uses the pronoun "you;" used mostly for directions or instructions

third person omniscient point of view

the narrator is an outsider to the story who knows the thoughts, feelings, and actions of many characters; uses pronouns like "they," "he," and "she"

third person limited point of view

the narrator is an outsider to the story but can only tell what they characters are doing and saying; cannot tell characters' thoughts or feelings; uses pronouns like "they," "he," and "she"

external conflict

a struggle between a character and an outside force, such as another character, nature, or society

internal conflict

a struggle that takes place in a character's mind, such as making a major decision or finding a solution to a problem


a conversation between characters; can be used to reveal information about characters or advance the plot

direct characterization

the narrator or a character in the story tells us what we need to know about a character

indirect characterization

we find out about characters indirectly through thoughts, comments, or actions of the characters


a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to a person, idea, or object to which it is not literally applicable


a figure of speech comparing two unlike things using "like" or "as"


a feeling that the author creates in the reader, such as gloom, fear, or happiness


the writer's attitude toward a subject, character, or audience, conveyed through choice of words and detail, such as serious, humorous, sarcastic, or witty


a distinctive way in which a writer expresses his or her ideas;


thoughts and emotions associated with a particular word or phrase; how a word makes us feel


the dictionary meaning of a word


A character or force that opposes the main character; the "bad guy"


The character the story revolves around; the "good guy"


character, with generalized traits that represents how people think a group of people acts, but does not represent the individual.


the reason or reasons behind a characters actions

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