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short story terms

literary terms definitions

Setting where a story takes place; includes time of day, year in history, time of year
Mood atmosphere of the story of the story; the mood of a story is created by the setting.
Theme Authors message or lesson; what do you learn from a story.
Conflict Problem in a story.
Internal Conflict When a character is forced to make a difficult decision.
Person vs. Self Same as internal conflict forced to make a difficult desicion.
External Conflict Problem or conflict is created by an outside force.
Person vs. Person Two people are in conflict, arguing or fighting.
Person Vs. Fate A person who cannot control his/her destiny/future.
Person vs. Society A person whose values and beliefs are different from society's values; racism is an example of person vs. society.
Person vs. Nature Conflicts created by a force of nature. This includes weather, animals, or ocean.
Plot Sequence of events in a short story.
Exposition All background information is given to the reader. The characters are introduced the setting is given.
Narrative Hook Main conflict is introduced.
Rising Action Events in a story that leads to the climax most of the story will take place here.
Climax The most exciting part; turning point; the protagonist must make a decision.
Falling Action events leading to the conclusion.
Conclusion resolution or end of the story.
Narrator "person" telling the story. The narrator is NOT the same as the author.
Tone narrator's attitude about the short story. Attitude is created by the narrator.
Point of View How the story is told.
1st person the narrator is part of the story. The narrator uses "I, me, my, our" in the story.
3rd limited the narrator tells the story through the eyes of one character. the one character is in every part of the short story. the narrator limits what the reader sees.
3rd omniscient omni~ ALL; scient~ Knowing. the narrator can tell you what everyone in the story thinks, can tell you about the past, present, and future.
Characters people or animals in a short story.
Major Most important characters in short story.
Protagonist the main character; the good guy.
Antagonist the character who creates problems for the protagonist; bad guy
Minor additional characters needed to tell the story.
Dynamic Character a character whose values, beliefs, or thoughts change in a short story.
Static Character a character whose values, beliefs, or thoughts do not change in a short story.
Indirect Characterization the reader learns about a character through his/her thoughts, words, and/or actions.
Direct Characterization the reader learns about a character through what other characters or the narrator tells the reader.
Symbol something that represents a thought, attitude emotions or something else.
Irony the difference between appearance and reality; when what is expected to happen doesn't.
Foreshadowing hints about what will happen later in the story; foreshadowing helps you predict what will happen.