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constructing a sentence so that both halves are about the same length and importance. Sentences can be unbalanced to serve a special effect as well


the process by which the writer reveals the personality of a character

indirect characterization

the author reveals to the reader what the character is like by describing how the character looks and dresses, by letting the reader hear what the character says, by revealing the character's private thoughts and feelings, by revealing the characters effect on other people or by showing the character in action. Common in modern literature

direct characterization

the author tells us directly what the character is like: sneaky, generous, mean to pets and so on. Romantic style literature relied more heavily on this form.

static character

is one who does not change much in the course of a story

dynamic character

is one who changes in some important way as a result of the story's action

flat character

has only one or two personality traits. They are one dimensional, like a piece of cardboard. They can be summed up in one phrase.

round character

has more dimensions to their personalitites they are complex, just as real as people


in poetry a type of rhetorical balance in which the second part is syntactically balanced against the first, but with the part reversed.


is a word or phrase, often a figure of speech, that has become lifeless because of overuse. Avoid cliches like the plague


a word or phrase in everyday use in conversation and informal writing but is inappropriate for formal situations. (hes out of his head if he thinks im gonna go for such a stupid idea)


in general, a story that ends with a happy resolution of the conflicts faced by the main character or character


an elaborate metaphor that compares two things that are startlingly different. often an extended metaphor

confessional poetry

a twentieth century term used to describe poetry that uses intimate material from the poet's life


the struggle between opposing forces or characters in a story

external conflict

conflicts can exist between two people, between a person and nature or a machine or between a person a whole society

internal conflict

a conflict can be internal, involving opposing forces within a person's mind.


the associations and emotional overtones that have become attached to a word or phrase, in addition to its strict dictionary definition


two consecutive rhyming lines of poetry

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