The Elements of Fiction
Revelation of character
When the traits are mentioned by the author
When the traits are mentioned by another character
Indirect—when only the behavior, such as speech or actions, from which we infer traits is given
Understanding the function he performs in the story
Function of major characters is usually plain; the following apply more to minor characters:
Does he help or hinder the central character in his pursuits?
Does he serve as a confidant, i.e., is he sympathetic with a main character, thus helping to reveal his thoughts?
Does he serve as a foil, i.e., one whose character contrasts that of the main character, thus emphasizing those of the main character?
Plot – a pattern of action involving conflict
Kinds of conflict
Physical (external) conflict: man against nature or the world (his own social and economic environment)
Psychological (internal) conflict: man against himself
Social conflict: man against another man, or against a group (e.g., his family or town)
Spiritual conflict: man against God
The course of the conflict
The exposition: the opening of a story which acquaints us with characters and shows developing conditions in certain settings
Complication: develops the conflict (this is the longest portion of a short story)
Climax: the point at which the way the conflict will be resolved becomes clear
Denouement (resolution): shows how the conflict is settled
Probability of action is that which makes the narrative convincing, believable, credible, likely, plausible, or probable
Handling of time
By shift in point of view
By inserting episodes involving characters other than the central ones
By method of telling a story, i.e., straight narrative, scene, analysis, and prescription
Motivation: the reasons a...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document