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Six Elements of a Narrative

Plot:  the sequence of events that take place in a story.
Setting:  the time and place in which the events of a story take place.
Characterization:  the methods used to present the personality of a character in a narrative.

Direct–the author describes the character.  Example–She was a large woman with a large purse.
Indirect–the reader judges what the character is like based on what they say or do, or what other characters say about them.  Example–We believe the narrator of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is crazy because he talks nervously and frequently repeats himself.

Atmosphere:  the general mood or feeling established in a piece of literature.  Atmosphere is created through word choice and pacing.

Word Choice–the author uses words that make the reader feel a certain way.  A spooky atmosphere is created in “The Tell-Tale Heart” through the use of words like “hideous,” “marrow,” “chilled,” and “nervous.”
Pacing–the author controls the speed at which we read through sentence length, punctuation, repetition of words and other techniques.

Point of View:  who is narrating the story (2 main types:  First Person, Third Person)

First person:  the narrator uses “I” to tell the action, and is involved in the story.
Third person:  the story is told from a perspective outside the story.  The characters are referred to by name, or as he, she or they.

Conflict: the central problem that drives the action of a story.  (two main types)

Internal:  The conflict happens in a character’s mind.  A character with a guilty conscience is an example of internal conflict.
External:  The conflict happens between characters, or between a character and some outside force, like nature.  Sherlock Holmes pursuing a criminal is an example of external conflict.
Tags : Communication Arts
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