Elements of Short Stories. Miss Giesler s LA Class

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1 Elements of Short Stories Miss Giesler s LA Class

2 What is a short story?

3 What is a short story? The term short story most often refers to a work of fiction no shorter than 1,000 and no longer than 20,000 words (5 to 20 pages) Stories with fewer than 1,000 words are sometimes referred to as "short short stories, or "flash fiction.

4 What makes a short story different than a novel? Short stories tend to be less complex than novels. Usually a short story has a single plot, a single setting, a small number of characters, and covers a short period of time. Gets quickly to the point and action of the story Characters typically don t have a lot of back story Usually only a few details about setting

5 5 Elements of a Short Story Plot Character Conflict Theme Setting Flocabulary

6 Plot Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows arrangement of events and actions within a story.

7 Plot Components Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment either mentally or in action Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads

8 Plot: Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

9 Plot: 4 Types of Conflict Man vs Man Man vs Nature Man vs Society Man vs Self

10 Plot: Types of Conflict There are 3 other types of conflict that are not as common: Man vs Fate Man vs Supernatural Man vs Technology

11 Man v Man

12 Man v Nature

13 Man v Society

14 Man v Self

15 Theme Theme is the big message or lesson Also called The Big Idea or the moral of the story It is the major idea of the story What the author is trying to tell us

16 Theme There are two main types of themes: A stated theme is directly expressed by the narrator or character; they come right out and say it An implied theme is only suggested by events and the characters actions and reactions

17 Theme Most themes are impliedyou need to dig down to find them Notice: Themes need to connect to the real world and go beyond the story

18 Common Themes Faith Honesty Hope Courage Trust Hard work Guilt Fate Cruelty Isolation Justice Freedom Ambition Prejudice Sacrifice Family/ Friendship Life lessons Kindness Love Death and Dying Forgiveness

19 Characters Characters are the people in the story who carry out the action Can be human or non-human (animals, objects, etc) Think Beauty and the Beast there are humans, animals, and objects! Different types: protagonist, antagonist, and supporting/minor characters

20 Characters Authors reveal more about the characters and the story through characterization revealing the personality of the character Characterization is shown in two ways-direct and indirect: Direct: the author tells the audience what the character s personality is Indirect: the author shows the audience what the characters personality it; the audience must make inferences to understand the character

21 Characters Direct Characterization: the author tells the audience what the characters personality is Ex: The patient, well-mannered students sat quietly in their desks, working silently and diligently on their homework. Key words: patient, well-mannered, silently, diligently show us the personality of the students.

22 Characters Indirect Characterization: the author shows the audience what the characters personality is Ex: The students sat, heads down, headphones in ears, pencils scribbling furiously, as the teacher walked in the silence. We can infer that the students are working hard and being quiet and they are good students

23 Characters For indirect characterization, think STEAL:

24 Irony Irony is a literary device where words are used to show a contradiction between appearance and reality Meaning: reality is usually the opposite of what it seems There are 3 types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic

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28 Irony Verbal irony - A character says one thing but really means the opposite

29 Verbal Irony A character says one thing but really means another Sarcasm is one type of verbal irony To find verbal irony, ask yourself: What is really being said? If what the person actually says is not exactly what they mean, it s most likely verbal irony

30 Verbal Irony-Examples When someone asks, Does that bruise hurt? And you say, No When your teacher says, I see how hard you worked on your homework! after you hand in a blank worksheet

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33 Irony Verbal irony - A character says one thing but really means the opposite Situational irony When what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate.

34 Situational Irony When what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. Comes from the situation or circumstances the characters find themselves in To find situational irony, ask yourself: What was I expecting to happen? If the opposite happened, it s most likely situational irony

35 Situational Irony-Examples Someone breaks in to a thief s house at the same time he is out robbing another house The founder of match.com was dumped by his long-time girlfriend after she found someone else on match.com

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39 Irony Verbal irony - A character says one thing but really means the opposite Situational irony When what actually happens is the opposite of what is expected or appropriate. Dramatic irony The reader or audience understands more about the events of a story than a character.

40 Dramatic Irony The reader or audience understands more about the events of a story than a character. Comes from the audience s understanding or inside joke or inside knowledge To find dramatic irony, ask yourself, Did I already know what happened or was going to happen? If you answered yes, it s most likely dramatic irony

41 Dramatic Irony-Examples Almost every horror movie we know the killer is waiting, but the characters don t Jaws da na da na da na da na da nanananananana AAAHHH!!!!

42 Dramatic Irony-Examples Simba spends most of the movie trying to rid himself of the guilt from killing his father Meanwhile, we know it was Scar who killed Mufasa

43 Dramatic Irony-Examples Hercules must drink Every last drop to become mortal but one drop remains Hades does not know this, but Pain, Panic, and the audience do!

44 Irony v. Coincidence Be careful not to confuse irony with coincidence Coincidences are unexpected and sometimes unexplainable, but seem to have no cause or connection Note: that CONNECTION word is the big give away!

45 Irony v. Coincidence Examples of coincidence: 2 girls wearing the same outfit without planning it A young boy surviving a terrible fall while wearing a Superman shirt Mr. Zajic walking in while Miss G is talking smack about him Geez guys, why didn t you warn me?! Just kidding, I d never talk smack about him J

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47 Irony or Coincidence You Tell me! Rain on a wedding day COINCIDENCE Why? It s unfortunate, but no one has done anything to cause it the two are unrelated (And, honestly, the weather doesn t care what you re doing!)

48 Irony or Coincidence You Tell me! A policeman having a warrant out for his arrest for unpaid parking tickets IRONY! Why? He s a policeman; he knows better and he caused the situation to happen

49 Irony or Coincidence You Tell me! IRONY! Why? The sign for Fasteners clearly needs a fastener itself

50 Irony or Coincidence You Tell me! Forgetting to study for a test, then finding out the teacher doesn t feel good and lets you watch a movie instead COINCIDENCE! Why? Your lack of preparation had nothing to do with the teacher being ill (or lazy)

51 Narrator The narrator of the story is the person who gives an account of what happens they are the ones who tell the story Narrator is voice the author has chosen to tell the story, but is not always the author themselves For example, in The Tell-Tale Heart, Edgar Allan Poe s narrator is a man who is literally going insane

52 Narrator The audience learns the story from the narrator s Point of View (or POV) May have multiple narrators Flocabulary POV

53 POV There are 3 Points of View: 1 st Person 2 nd Person 3 rd Person

54 POV-1 st Person 1 st Person POV is told from one character s perspective Shows us the inner thoughts and frustrations or triumphs of that particular character Everything we learn is colored by that character s thoughts and opinions Used frequently in novels and short stories when one character (usually protagonist) is dominant Key Words: I We My Opening Scene Example

55 POV-2 nd Person 2 nd Person POV addresses the audience directly Very rarely seen in literature or film, except perhaps choose-your-own adventure stories Most often seen in nonfiction (Letters, s, speeches, directions, recipes), songs, or video games Key words: You Your Yourself Yourselves N64 Game Example

56 POV-3 rd Person 3 rd Person POV is told from the narrator s perspective, but the narrator is NOT a character in the story Narrator is removed from the story, and seems to know all Most common POV in literature Key words: He She or character s names

57 POV-3 rd Person 3 types of 3 rd Person POV: Omniscient Limited Objective

58 POV-3 rd Person Omniscient: Narrator knows everything the thoughts, feelings, and actions of every character However, the narrator may not always reveal all of the information Has a bird s eye view or hole in the cloud view of the action

59 POV-3 rd Person Limited: Narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of one character Very similar to first person, but still an outsider s view Example: Harry Potter

60 POV-3 rd Person Objective: Narrator is not part of the story, and only tells the reader what the characters do and say The reader must infer the character s thoughts or motivation A reporter or observer

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