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a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually supernatural elements


light verse consisting of five lines of regular rhythm in which the first, seconds, and fifth line (each consisting of three feet) rhyme, and the third and fourth lines (each consisting of two feet) rhyme

limited narrator

a narrator who presents the story as it is seen and understood by a single character and restricts information to what is seen, heard, thought, or felt by that one character

literary license

deviating from normal rules or methods in order to achieve a certain effect (intentional sentence fragments, for example)


a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture.")


the mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar ("The doctor wrote a subscription.")


a concise statement, often offering advice: an adage


a direct comparison of two different things


substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it ("The pen [writing] is mightier than a sword [war/fighting]")


the emotional atmosphere of a work


a standard theme, element, or dramatic situation that recurs in various works


a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which impels a character to act


a traditional story presenting supernatural character and episodes that help explain natural events


a story of narrated account


the one who tells the story; may be first- or third person, limited or omniscient

non sequitur

an inference that does not follow logically from the premises (literally, "does not follow")

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