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sequence of events in a short story, novel, or play, which involves conflict and details

exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution

sequence of plot


a struggle between two opposing forces; basis for plot


methods the author uses to make the character come to alive

man against man, man against nature, and man against society

external conflicts

man against himself

internal conflict

description of character by narrator; may include physical description, character's speech and action/behavior, character's thoughts and feelings, and what others say about the character

methods used in characterization


thread of meaning running through a story; usually a general truth about mankind


when and where a story takes place


the technique of giving hints or clues that suggest or prepare for events that occur later in a story


the state of anxious anticipation, expectation, or uncertainty regarding the resolution of a conflict


highest point of action in the story


author's way of expressing himself by use of word choice, sentence structure, etc


feeling conveyed by the way the author writes about his subject


atmosphere or feeling that the author attempts to create in the story

point of view

author's choice of narrator for his story

first person

narrator uses I and me when telling the story/ subjective

third person objective

unbiased outsider tells the story

third person limited

narrator tells what one character thinks/feels

third person omniscient

all knowing narrator


the congruity or difference between reality and appearance

situational irony

the difference between what is intended or expected and what actually happens

verbal irony

a figure of speech in which there is a difference between what is literally said and what is meant; sarcasm

dramatic irony

the difference between what a character knows and what the reader or audience knows


the main character


opponent of the main character


an ideal example of a type; quintessence; an original model or type after which other similar things are patterned; a prototype


the outcome of the story

framed story

story within a story


a person, place, thing, or event that stands for itself and for something beyond itself as well

pen name

a pseudonym used by a writer

folk tale

story coming from the folk


story made up to explain a phenomenon


a story with a grain of truth


ridiculing the vices or follies of mankind with a hope of correction


comparison using like or as


comparison saying one thing is another; can can be direct or implied

short story

a prose fictional writing usually between 500-20,000 words which can be read in one sitting

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