22 terms

Short Story Terminology

These are the terms Mr. C. has provided to students as part of the short story unit.
STUDY
PLAY
antagonist
the person or force working against the main character or hero of a story
protagonist
the main character or hero of a story
characterization
the method an author uses to aquaint the reader with his characters
flashback
an interruption in the action of a story to show an episode that happened at an earlier time.
foreshadowing
an author's use of hints or clues about events which will occur later in a story
imagery
The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas.
irony
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; words say one thing, but mean something elose.
mood
the feeling or atmosphere a piece of literature arouses in the reader such as happiness, sadness, or the like.
narrator
the person who is telling the story
plot
the pattern of events that make up a story
point of view
the vantage point from which a story is told
short story
a piece of prose fiction, between 5-60 pages and read in a single setting.
symbol
something that on the surface is its literal self, but which can also have another meaning.
theme
the main idea expressed in a literary work; a statement about life that a literary work is trying to communicate to the reader.
dialogue
conversation between characters in a literary work.
exposition
the part of the story where the background information that is needed to understand the story properly is provided.
conflict
the problem or struggle between two opposing forces in a story that brings about the action.
initiating incident
the single incident in the story's action without which there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the remainder of the story in motion beginning with the second act, the rising action.
climax
point in the story that marks a change for better or worse in the protagonist's dealings. If the story is a comedy, at this point, things that had been going badly for the protagonist will change for the better. If it were a tragedy, things that had been going well for the protagonist would now change for the worse.
falling action
where the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist unravels, with the protagonist winning or losing against the antagonist.
rising action
where the basic conflict is complicated by the introduction of related secondary conflicts, including various obstacles that frustrate the protagonist's attempt of reach his or her goal.
setting
the time, place, and general environment in which a story occurs.
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