Literrary Genres Short Story Terms

The series of related events that make up a story or drama. The underlying structure of a story. Is constructed, composed, and artistic; not a mere sequence of events. Purposes are to convey meaning and provide an enjoyable or moving reading experience.
A struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions
External Conflict
A character struggles against some outside force: another character, society as a whole, or some natural force
Internal Conflict
A struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions within a single character
Background information on characters and events necessary for understanding the story
Rising Action
Intensify the conflict and create suspense
Technical Climax
Turning point of the plot, outcome is determined, and the protagonist often changes or has an oppurtunity to change but does not
Falling Action
Action that takes place after the climatic scene
All the problems or mysteries of the plot are unraveled
Dramatic Climax
The point of greatest interest or intensity in the story. This type of climax is not related to plot structure
Plotless Short Story
In some modern fiction, plot has a relatively minor function. These works may focus instead on characterization and point of view
The use of clues to hint at what is going to happen later in the plot
The time and place of events in a literary work
The mood or feeling of work in a literature
Fictional personality created by an author.
The process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character
Direct; telling more direct, quicker, less attention getting, factual
Indirect; showing more indirect, less quick, more attention getting. The reader has to exercise her own judgement, putting clues together to figure out what a character is like
Central character the reader focuses on; the person whose conflict sets the plot in motion
The character or force that blocks the protagonist
Round Character
A character who has more dimensions to their personality; he/she is complex and multi faceted like a real person
Flat Character
A character who is not well developed, but rather one dimensional; he/she has only one or two personality traits
Dynamic Character
A character who grows, learns, or changes as a result of the story's action
Static Character
A character who does not change much in the course of the story
Foil Character
A character who is used as a contrast to another character; the contrast emphasizes the differences between the two characters, bringing out the distinctive qualities in each
The reasons that cause the characters to act as they do
The teller of the story
Point of View
The vantage point from which a writer tells a story
First Person
The narrator is a character in the story, uses the pronoun "I"
Second Person
The narrator tells a listener what they have done or said, using the personal pronoun "you"
Third Person Objective or Dramatic
The basic mode of presentng action and dialogue. The narrator reports events in a way that is analogous to a hovering or tracking motion picture camera. An impartial report
Third Person Omniscient
The narrator is outside the story, a god like observer who can tell the reader what all the characters are thinking and feeling, as well as what is happening anywhere in the story
Limited Third Person
The narrator is outside the story, but tells the story from the vantage point of only one character; the narrator can enter the mind of this chosen character but cannot tell what any other characters are thinking except by observation
The central idea or insight of a work of literature; most themes are implied rather than directly stated
The attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character; tone is conveyed through the writer's choice of words and details
A person, place, thing, or event that stands for both itself and for something beyond itself
A writer's word choice
The arrangement; the ordering, grouping, and placement of words within a phrase, clause, or sentence
A contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality
Dramatic Irony
When the reader or audience knows something important that a character in a story or drama does not know
Situational Irony
What actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate
Verbal Irony
When a speaker says one thing but means the opposite
A play on the multiple meanings of a word, or two words that sound alike but have different meanings