Elements of a Short Story


Definitions/Descriptions - click on the underlined words for additional information!
Characters are the people who are involved in the story.  Characters can be major or minor, and static or dynamic.

The order of events that make up a story.  The plot usually begins with an exposition, which introduces us to the characters and background information of the story.  Next comes the rising action, which involves complications that lead to conflicts between characters. After the rising action we reach the climax, which is a turning point in the story. After the climax there is a falling action which leads to the resolution of the conflict.
Point of View
This refers to who tells the story, and how they tell it.  The narrator can tell the story from the third-person point of view, meaning that they can tell us what the characters think and do, but they are not part of the story.  Third-person narrators use the pronouns he, she or it.   If the narrator is telling the story from a  first-person point of view, then they are part of the story and are telling it the way that they see it.  First-person narrators use the pronoun I.
The setting of a story gives us important information such as: 1)When the story is taking place, 2) Where the story is taking place, and 3) What environment the story is occuring in.  It sets the mood and helps us guess what might happen in the story.
The central meaning or idea of the story; the moral lesson the story is trying to teach. It is a message that gives an opinion about life, humanity or society. Examples of theme include: love, friendship, good vs. evil,the importance of family, crime is bad, etc.

Click on the Question Marks to see what you remember about the Elements of Short Stories!