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cool beans.


Repetition of the same word or words from the beginning of sentences, lines, or phrases. (l)

Ars Poetica

A poem about poetry (l)


The comparison of two dissimilar things. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" (l)

Dramatic monologue

Narrator speaks to himself. The speaker is not the author. (l)


A realization or comprehension of the essence of something. (l)

Feminine Rhyme

Two syllable (Disyllabic) rhyme consisting of stressed syllable followed by unstressed (l)


Use of words to create an archaic effect. (Opening scene of Macbeth and the Weird Sisters) (l)

Incremental repetition

Repetition of succeeding stanzas with small substitutions of changes. (l)

Masculine rhyme

Monosyllabic rhymes. (l)


Substitutes the name of one thing with something closely associated with it. (l)


Substitutes a part of one thing to represent the whole, or vice versa. (l)

Pathetic fallacy

A reflection of the action/events through nature/weather. (A thunderstorm during the creation of Frankenstein's monster sequence) (l)


The character created by the narrator. (l)


A blending of sensations. (l)


A way of extending the meanings of words beyond the literal. (l)


refers to the stressed portion of a word. An accent is used to place emphasis on a word. (l)


stress and accent can be used interchangeably. (l)


A description that has a second, usually moral meaning. (l)


is the repetition of initial (at the beginning) CONSONANT sounds (if it's a vowel repetition, you would call it assonance. Assonance includes any repetition of a vowel sound in any part of the word. It usually occurs in the middle of words). (l)


refers to an event from an external content. It is understandable only to those with prior knowledge of the reference in question (as the writer assumes the reader has). (l)


Something that addresses an object or person or idea who is not present as though he/she/it could reply. (l)


The juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to create a feeling of balance (e.g Too black for heaven, and yet too white for hell) (l)


The repetition of vowel sounds may also add to euphony. (l)


Poetry referring to either the dawn, a love song or about parting lovers. (l)


A form of poetry in a specific meter meant to be sung. There is always a repeating refrain and it is always narrative in form. See below for more information. (l)

Blank verse

Iambic Pentameter that doesn't rhyme. (Much of Shakespeare's plays for example were written in blank verse.) (l)


A cut or break in a line, could be a comma or a semicolon. (l)


Harsh sounding and generally unpleasant. (l)


The repetition of consonant sounds NOT in the beginning of a word (which would be alliteration). Enforces relation. (l)

Continuous Form

Lines follow each other without any type of structural organization except by blocks of meaning. (l)

Didactic Poetry

Poetry with a directly morally teaching purpose. (l)


Pleasant sounding. (l)

Extended Figure

An apostrophe, simile, metaphor, etc. which is developed throughout a poem. (l)


Language which appeals to each of the five senses. (l)

Visual imagery

Sight. The most frequent type. (l)

Aural or auditory imagery

Sound. (l)

Olfactory imagery

Smell. (l)

Gustatory imagery

Taste. (l)

Tactile imagery

Touch, tangibility. (l)

Organic imagery

Human sensations, hunger for example. (l)

Phonetic Intensive

A word whose sound emphasizes its meaning. (l)


Language which is not in meter. (l)


A repeated line, phrase, sentence, etc. which appears throughout a poem. (l)

Rhetorical Poetry

Poetry written in superfluous language with the intention of being overdramatic. (l)


The process of measuring verse. (l)


See link. (l)


The writer's attitude toward the subject. (l)


Twelve-syllable poetic line of French origin. (p)


A poem or section consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter and often forming a complete thought. (p)


A poem of loss and consolation. (p)


Praise for an individual, a group of people, or a body. (p)


A poem of fourteen lines, usually following a strict rhyme scheme/structure. (p)


A poem which is a continuous sequence of lines without any division into stanzas. (p)


19 lines divided into 5 stanzas. (p)


A poem directed to a person not present/Dead. (p)


Repeating the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words


Form of personification that applies human-like characteristics to animals or objects


Concise statement that contains a cleverly stated subjective truth or observation—aphorisms typically use alliteration, anaphora, and rhyme.


When sentences do not use conjunctions (eg: and, or, nor) to separate clauses, but run clauses into one another, usually marking the separation of clauses with punctuation.

Author surrogate

Character who speaks for the author—sometimes an intentionally or unintentionally idealized version of the author.


Mood that overstates its own pathos or drama.


A type of novel concerned with education, development, and maturation of a young protagonist.

Chekhov's gun

Insertion of an apparently irrelevant object early in a narrative for a purpose only revealed later.


An extended metaphor associated with metaphysical poetry that pushes the imagination's limits to portray something indescribable.

Cut-up technique

The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text.


Forcing the reader to recognize common things in an unfamiliar or strange way, to enhance perception of the familiar

Deleted affair

A romantic relationship not referred to in the current story.

Deus ex machina

Resolving the primary conflict by a means unrelated to the story

Dramatic visualization

Representing an object or character with abundant descriptive detail, or mimetically rendering gestures and dialogue to make a scene more visual or imaginatively present to an audience.


A sudden revelation or insight—usually with a symbolic role in the narrative—in a literary work.

Epistolary novel

Novel in the form of a series of documents (letters, e-mails, etc.) exchanged between characters.


the sudden turn of events at the end of a story which result in the protagonist's well-being.


A deliberately excessive use of balanced antitheses emphasised by alliteration.

False documents

Fiction in the form of, or about, apparently real, but actually fake documents.

Analeptic reference

General term for altering time sequences, taking characters back to the beginning of the tale


an interjected scene that temporarily jumps the narrative forward in time.


Hinting at events to occur later.

Formal patterning

Rigorously organizing events, actions, and gestures that constitute a narrative and shape a story.

Frame story

A main story that organizes a series of shorter stories.

Framing device

A single action, scene, event, setting, or any element of significance at the beginning and end of a work.


The character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall.


Forming mental images of a scene using descriptive words, especially making use of the human senses.

In medias res

Beginning the story in the middle of a sequence of events.


Gradually exposing the reader to background information about the story's world to subtly clue the readers into the world the author is building


The author puts a concentrated amount of background material, all at once, into the story, often in the form of a conversation between two characters, both of whom should already know the material under discussion.


Purposefully repeating words that usually express a motif or theme important to the story.

Magical realism

Describing events realistically, but in a magical haze of strange local customs and beliefs


Word or phrase in a figure of speech in which an attribute of something stands for the thing itself


the queerness of things that have become trite, when they are seen suddenly from a new angle.

Narrative hook

Story opening that "hooks" readers' attention so they will keep reading


Exaggerating something, often for emphasis (also known as hyperbole)


Using forms and styles from another author, generally as an affectionate tribute

Pathetic fallacy

Reflecting a character's (usually the protagonist) mood in the atmosphere or inanimate objects


Emotional appeal, one of the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric that the author uses to inspire pity or sorrow towards a character—typically does not counterbalance the target character's suffering with a positive outcome, as in Tragedy.

Plot device

Object or character whose sole purpose is to advance the plot—often a sign of poor writing.

Poetic justice

Virtue ultimately rewarded, or vice punished, by an ironic twist of fate related to the character's own conduct.


The use of several conjunctions in close succession, this provides a sense of exaggeration designed to wear down the audience.

Predestination paradox

Time travel paradox where a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" them to travel back in time


Plot device based on an argument that an agreement's intended meaning holds no legal value, and that only the exact, literal words agreed on apply.

Red herring

A rhetorical tactic of diverting attention away from an item of significance.

Repetitive designation

Repeated references to a character or object that appears insignificant at first, but later suddenly intrudes in the narrative.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

Prediction that, by being made, makes itself come true.

Sensory detail

Imagery, sight, sound, taste, touch, smell


A story told within another story.

Stream of consciousness

Technique where the author writes down their thoughts as fast as they come, typically to create an interior monologue characterized by leaps in syntax and punctuation that trace a character's fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings.

Thematic patterning

Distributing recurrent thematic concepts and moralistic motifs among various incidents and frames of a story.

Ticking clock scenario

Threat of impending disaster—often used in thrillers where salvation and escape are essential elements

Unreliable narrator

The narrator of the story is not sincere, or introduces a bias in his narration and possibly misleads the reader, hiding or minimizing events, characters, or motivations.


Alienating or distancing the audience from a play's emotional content

Writer's voice

Combination of the various structural aspects of an author's writing style.

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