70 terms

Lit elements


Terms in this set (...)

Sequence of events which involves the characters in a conflict
Narrative order
The sequence of events in a plot
The events are told in the order that they happen, and are the most common type of narrative order in children's books
Event that took place before the current time, and normally gives important background information
Flash foreword
The opposite of a flash back, not very common
Time lapse
The story skips a period of time that seems unusual compared to the rest of the plot
The struggle between the protagonist and some opposing force.
Internal conflict (character vs. self)
The protagonist struggles within himself/herself (in mind)
Interpersonal conflict (character vs. character)
Occurs when the protagonist is against another character
Character vs. society
The protagonist is in conflict with the values in his/her society
Character vs. nature
The protagonist is threatened by an element of nature
Character vs. supernatural
The protagonist is in conflict with any force outside human control
Character vs. technology
The protagonist is in conflict with human created tech
Sets the stage for the story.
Three main parts:
1: setting
2: characters
3: conflict
Inciting incident
The event that starts the action
Does not move according to the reader
Narrative hook
How the writer grabs the reader's attention and brings them into the story
Can fall on different places on the plot diagram due to reader interpretation
Rising action
Includes all action leading to the climax and builds interest and suspense
Characters are developed, events become more involved; this is a significant part of the story
Is the point of greatest emotional intensity or interest
Turning point
The point at which the most significant change occurs
The remaining major events of the story are now guaranteed to happen
When the climax is a let down because it is less exciting than the previous events and often unbelievable
Falling action
Leads away from the climax and may provide any necessary explanations after the most significant change
Is where everything comes together and the outcome of the main conflict is revealed
1: closed ending - readers feel that they know what happened
2: open ending - readers must draw their own conclusions
3: cliffhanger- an abrupt ending; usually in an exiting part
Fancy way of saying resolution
A state of tension or uncertainty; an emotional pull that keeps the reader reading
1: hints or clues about future events
2: more and more complications in the plot
3: develops the characters; makes the reader care about them
4: delays an event the reader knows is coming
Hints about what will happen later in the story
Something that happens by chance (sometimes confused with irony)
Includes the time and place in which the story takes place
Integral setting
A setting that is essential to the plot; influences action, character, or theme
1: provides necessary background information
2: can be used to create the mood
3: can become a principal force that creates conflict
4: can be used to advance the plot
5: can be used to develop a character
Backdrop setting
Relatively unimportant to the plot
The setting does not have a big influence on the outcome of the plot
The events could have happened anywhere and these are usually character-driven plots
The act of developing a character
Direct characterization
When the author comes right out and tells the reader about a character's personality
Indirect characterization
The author reveals the character's personality through the five methods:
Effect on others
Looks/appearance of the character
Main character in the plot's conflict
The person or force in conflict with or working against the protagonist
Character foil
Character whose traits are in direct contrast to another character in order to highlight/emphasize the differences between them
Flat character
A character that is one-sided and often stereotyped
Round character
Fully developed character who exhibits many traits
We know the character well
Static character
A character who remains the same, or changes very little
Dynamic character
A character who experiences a significant change as a result of what happens in the story
Round + dynamic
This is the best type of character development; usually the protagonist
The development is considered well-done; often found in protagonists of children's books
This development is appropriate for minor characters
This is not a possible combination because we do not know enough about the character to recognize a change
Point of view
Depends upon who the narrator is and how much he or she knows (and if they are reliable)
First person
The narrator is a character in the story, using the pronoun "I"
This narrator is easy to identify with
Second person
The author speaks directly to the reader using "you" (not used often)
Third person (overall)
The narrator is not in the story and uses pronouns "he", "she", or "it"
Third person limited
The narrator is not in the story, and readers are given the thoughts and feelings of only one character
Third person omniscient
The narrator is not in the story, and this "all-knowing" narrator knows everything about the characters and their problems, including their thoughts and feelings
Typically, this narrator does not share all characters' thoughts and feelings, especially minor characters, because this would be overwhelming to the reader
Third person dramatic/objective
We are only told what happens and what is said, very factual
The narrator shares events like a newspaper reporter, without opinion
The language used in a book; the way the words are put together to create a story
Standard written style
More formal than most speech; such as avoiding contractions, slang, etc.
Conversational style
The language is more informal; is written to mirror the way people actually talk
Eye dialect
Words are spelled the way they sound and is sometimes hard to read
This may tell you something about the characters/setting
The authors attitude towards the subject, characters, and events
The attitude that the author wants to express with his words (___=text)
The climate or feeling in a literary work that the reader feels (___=me)
Setting, objects, details, images, and words can contribute to this
An appeal to the five senses - taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell
It paints a picture in our minds
Figurative language
Uses words in a non-literal way
Gives human traits to animals or inanimate objects
A direct comparison of two seemingly unlike things using the words "like", "as", or "than"
A comparison of two unlike things
One thing is another
Deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect
A word or phrase which means something different from what it says literally
These are common phrases whose meanings are not real, but can be understood by their popular use
An indirect reference to something well-known/famous outside the current literary work you are reading
A person, object, situation, or action that stands for something in addition to itself
Contrasts what is expected with what actually happens
Verbal irony
Sarcasm, or the opposite of what is actually meant
Dramatic irony
The reader knows what is happening, but the characters in the story don't
Situational irony
The unexpected twist; when the opposite of what is logically expected to happen actually occurs
Plot diagram
A pictorial representation of the six major parts of plot
Inciting incident
Rising action
Climax/turning point/anticlimax
Falling action
Denouement (resolution)