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That point in a plot that creates the greatest intensity, suspense, or interest; usually the point at which the conflict is resolved

Internal Conflict

involving opposing forces within a person's mind.

External Conflict

A struggle between a character and an outside force

Denouement/ Resolution

the point when the conflict is resolved and remaining loose ends are tied up


A narrative device, often used at the beginning of a work that provides necessary background information about the characters and their circumstances.

Falling Action

Events after the climax, leading to the resolution


A literary work based on the imagination and not necessarily on fact

Inciting Events

the event(s) that triggers the conflict.


A need or desire that energizes and directs behavior

Sociological Novel

emphasizes the influence of economic and social conditions on characters and events and often embodies an implicit thesis for social reform.

Historical Novel

full-length fiction book, using historical facts as its basis for plot or setting, but including imaginary characters and dialogue.

Regional Novel

A novel faithful to a particular geographic region and its people, including behavior, customs, speech, and history.

Novel of ideas

a novel in which the examination of intellectual issues and concepts takes precedence over characterization or a traditional storyline


is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used.

Gothic Romance

A form of novel in which magic, mystery, horrors, and chivalry abound; works having extravagant characters, remote or exotic settings, adventure, magic, chivalry, and love.


is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (coming of age),[3] and in which, therefore, character change is extremely important.


Sequence of events in a story

Rising Action

A series of events that builds from the conflict.


The context in time and place in which the action of a story occurs.


is the codified gestures, in which the author tells the story. Along with plot, character, theme, and setting, style is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction


is all the parts are related to one central idea or organizing principle. Thus, unity is dependent upon coherence.


a novel that is extravagently chivarlrous or romantic, it is visionary or impractical.


literally means "beyond fiction". This novel type self-conciously addresses the devices of fiction exposing the fictional illusion.


A moment of sudden revelation or insight


A character or force in conflict with the main character


Emotional release

Direct Characterization

Author directly describes character

Indirect Characterization

Author subtly reveals the character through actions and interactions.

Dynamic Character

A character who grows, learns, or changes as a result of the story's action

Flat Character

A character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story


A character who is in most ways opposite to the main character (protagonist) or one who is nearly the same as the protagonist. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast only

Hamartia (Tragic Flaw)

A character flaw that causes the downfall or death of a person of high rank/status


Excessive pride or self-confidence


a sudden and unexpected change of fortune or reverse of circumstances (especially in a literary work)


Main Character

Round Character

character with many personality traits (many details given). A character who demonstrates some complexity and who develops or changes in the course of a work

Static Character

A character that does not change from the beginning of the story to the end

Stock Character

A character type that appears repeatedly in a particular literary genre, one which has certain conventional attributes or attitudes.

First Person Point of View

a character in the story is actually telling the story himself/herself


An individual's characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Point of View

the perspective from which a story is told

Second Person Point of View

reader becomes the character; uses the pronoun

Third Person Limited

Narrator sees the world through only one characters eyes and thoughts.

Third Person Omniscient

Point of view in which an all-knowing narrator who is privy to the thoughts and actions of any or all characters.

Third Person Objective

The narrator is an outsider who can report only what he or she sees and hears. This narrator can tell us what is happening, but he can't tell us the thoughts of the characters.

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