49 terms


the sequence of events in a story that usually revolve around a central conflict.When you are asked what happens in a story, you are asked to give plot details.
Exposition (of a plot) or the basic situation
Usually the beginning of a story where we learn about the main conflict, the setting, and the main characters. Short stories, by nature, give us this information much more quickly than novels.
a struggle or clash between opposing forces. No story exists without a conflict of some kind. It is the essence of any plot.
Internal Conflict
A struggle that occurs within the mind of a character.
External Conflict
A struggle that occurs between a character and something outside the character.
Three basic types of external conflict
Human vs. Nature
Human vs. Human
Human vs. Society
Additional problems that occur in a story to help create suspense for the reader, causing the protagonist to have to overcome yet another obstacle before the climax of the story. Complications are NOT the MAIN CONFLICT of the story.
The point in a story that will determine the outcome of the main conflict. Until we know the CLIMAX, we say the story is still rising in action or building suspense towards the CLIMAX.
The point of the story following the climax when we learn how everything will turn out or be "resolved."
The act of creating characters in a story by giving them personality traits.
The character in a story who is the main obstacle to the protagonist. Does not have to be a person. It might be Nature.
The character in a story who must often solve the main conflict of a story. The reader's attention is focused on this character most of all.
Flat Character
A character that has only one or two dominant traits that could be summed up in a sentence or two.
Round Character
Just the opposite of a flat character. These characters have multiple traits and are complex.
Static Character
A character that does not change much over the course of a story. This character is about the same from the beginning to the end of the story.
Dynamic Character
A character that changes in some important way as a aresult of the story's action.
Conversation between two or more characters in a story. Often reveals what a character's personality is like.
Stock Character
A character already fits what we think this "type" of character is. Examples: a typical old man, a typical teenager, the typical detective, the mad scientist, a tough guy with a soft heart. These characters have no idividuality; they are very predictable.
Direct Characterization
The writer or narrator of a story tells us directly what a character's personality is like.
Indirect Characterization
Five Methods used for this type of characterization are: describing how a character looks and dresses, letting the reader hear the character speak, letting the reader listen to the character's inner thoughts and feelings, revealing what other people think or say about the character, and showing the character's actions.
The reason a character says or does something.
The author provides hints that suggest future events in a story. It provides support and helps build suspense.
A scene in a story that temporarily interrupts the present action to show events that happened at an earlier time.
The uncertainty or anxiety we feel about what is going to happen next in a story. This element in Literature is what makes the reader want to "turn the page."
Point of view
How the writer chooses to narrate the story.
First Person Narrative
The narrator is a character in the story and uses words such as "I, me, my, and we."
Second Person
The narrator is speaking to the reader, as in giving instructions, or talking directly to the audience using "you."
Third Person Limited
The narrator is not a character, and can only reveal one character's thoughts.
Third Person Omniscient
The narrator is not a character in the story, but knows what two or more characters are thinking and feeling as well as telling the reader what is going on in other places and times referenced in the story.
The time and place of a story's action. Contributes strongly to the atmosphere of the story.
The overall mood or feeling created in a work of literature. The writer uses precise word choices and descriptive details.
The attitude the writer takes toward the reader, subject, or a character.
The central idea or insight that a story, drama, or poem reveals. It's the message about a subject that an author is trying to convey.
A type of writing that uses strong images to create a mood or emotion.
Any language used that appeals to one or more of the five senses. Imagery is used a great deal in poetry.
Repetition of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together. These consonant sounds are usually found at the beginning of the words. "A purple pig put on a play."
Use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning. Examples: "buzz, bark, splash..."
A figure of speech that makes a connection between two unlike things without using words like "as, like, than, or resembles." Example: His eyes were dancing pools of excitement."
A figure of speech that makes a connection between two unlike things USING words like "as, like, than, or resembles." Example: "His eyes were like dancing pools of excitement."
Something nonhuman is given human qualities. Example: "The bowling ball flew down the alley screaming in anger."
A figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion or create a comic effect. Also called "overstatement." Example: "His smile was a mile wide."
A saying that cannot be understood from the meanings of its separate words, but must be learned as a whole. Example: "It is raining cats and dogs outside!" Meaning: It is raining very hard.
A reference to a specific statement, person, place or event from literature, history, myth, policies, sports, science, the arts or religion to understand an idea. Example: "Jack was like a phoenix when he changed his life.
A story that is written to be acted for an audience.
In a drama, this usually consists of a particular point in time or episode of the play's plot.
Short Story
A piece of narrative fiction that can usually be read at one sitting and creates a single effect.
Long fictional prose narrative, usually of more than fifty thousand words.
A story that deals with serious and important events (sometimes historical) and usually ends with the hero making a bad decision leading to his/her ruin/death.
A drama that is light and humorous, usually ending happily, with a peaceful resolution to the conflict.