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the sequence of events in a story


the beginning of the story, where the reader learns the setting and main characters' names


time and place

rising action

the set of events leading to the climax of a story


the most important or exciting event in a story; the turning point

falling action

the events leading to the resolution of a story


the end of a story, where most conflicts are resolved


an unexpected event

verbal irony


Example...Student: "Are we going to write in English class today?" ...Teacher: "No, we're going to use fingerpaints!"

verbal irony

situational irony

the opposite of what is expected happens

Example...A man kneels to propose to his girlfriend and discovers that she had planned to break up with him.

situational irony

dramatic irony

the audience knows something the character does not know

Example...The monster is in the room where the woman is headed, but only the audience knows this.

dramatic irony


a problem in a story

man vs. man conflict

a conflict between people

man vs. nature conflict

a conflict between a person and elements of nature

man vs. obstacle conflict

a conflict between a person and something he/she cannot control

man vs. society conflict

a conflict that exists because a person believes/lives differently from everyone else

man vs. self conflict

a conflict within a person

man vs. Higher Power

a conflict between a person and God or another authority figure

Example: Two people fighting

man vs. man conflict

Example: Jim Hawkins in the middle of a rain storm

man vs. nature conflict

Example: Not having the money to go to college

man vs. obstacle conflict

Example: A Christian persecuted in a Muslim nation

man vs. society conflict

Example: Being unable to decide between playing video games and doing homework

man vs. self conflict

Example: Doing the opposite of what parents say

man vs. Higher Power conflict

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