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The sequence of events in a story.


An element of plot. Exposes the reader to characters, setting, and necessary background.

Rising Action

An element of plot during which the main conflict develops and new conflicts are introduced.


An element of plot. The point at which the major conflict is resolved.

Falling Action

An element of plot. The events after the climax, leading to the resolution.


The end of the story. An element of plot.


The problem in the story. Person v. Person, person v. self, person v. society, person v. nature, and person v. fate.

Character trait

A quality possessed by a character. For example, honesty or conceit.

Internal character trait

The mind, spirit, and emotions of the character.

External character traits

The physical appearance and abilities of the character.


The message in the story.


The time and place in the story.

Round character

A fully developed character capable of change.

Flat character

An undeveloped character, possessing few character traits, incapable if change.

Person v. Self

An internal conflict; within a character's own mind

Person v. Society

The group's values, customs, or structure creates the character's problem.

Person v. Nature

An external conflict; a struggle between a character and natural forces

Person v. Person

The struggle is with another character

Person v. Fate

A character must battle what seems to be his or her destiny.

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