Elements of Short Stories



I. Plot

- series of related events that create a story



A. Conflict - struggle between opposing forces

B. Rising Action - complications that contribute to the rise in action

C. Climax - turning point of the story; emotional high point (for the character, not the reader)

D. Falling Action - events that lead to resolution

E. Resolution - outcome of the conflict





II. types of characterization   

- techniques useD to develop the protagonist or other characters


A. Physical description (adjectives to describe the characters)

B. Speech and actions of the protagonist

C. Direct comment from the narrator about certain characters

D. Speech and actions of other characters






III. Analyzing characters

- Assessing and evaluating characters' actions


A. Motivation - cause or reasoning behind the actions of a characters (or characters)

B. Behavior - actions of the character (or characters)

C. Consequences - results based on the actions of a character (or characters)

D. Responsibility - moral, legal, or mental accountability of the character(s) to do certain things






IV. Setting/Description

- literary techniques to enhance the effectiveness of the story

A. Sensory details - words that appeal to the senses to give the reader a greater understanding of the environment      


B. Figurative language

·        Metaphor - an implied comparison between two unlike things (Men's words are bullets)

in      Personification - giving living characteristics to inanimate (non-living) objects (The wind howled.)