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A story is a short work of fiction. Fiction, as you know, is prose writing about imagined events and characters. Prose
writing differs from poetry in that it does not depend on verses, meters or rhymes for its organization and
Novels are another example of fictional prose and are much longer than short stories. Some short stories, however,
can be quite long. If a a short story is a long one, say fifty to one hundred pages, we call it a novella.
American literature contains some of the world's best examples of the short story. Readers around the world enjoy the
finely crafted stories of American writers such as O. Henry, Stephen Crane, Jack London, Mark Twain and Edgar
Allen Poe.
What makes these authors such remarkable short story writers? They are true masters at combining the five key
elements that go into every great short story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.
The ELLSA web-site uses one of these five key elements as the focus of each of the five on-line lessons in the
Classics of American Literature section. In each lesson, you will explore a single American short story from the USIA
Ladder Series and discover how the author uses a certain element.
CHARACTER - A character is a person, or sometimes even an animal, who takes part in the action of a short story or
other literary work.
SETTING - The setting of a short story is the time and place in which it happens. Authors often use descriptions of
landscape, scenery, buildings, seasons or weather to provide a strong sense of setting.
PLOT - A plot is a series of events and character actions that relate to the central conflict.
CONFLICT - The conflict is a struggle between two people or things in a short story. The main character is usually
on one side of the central conflict. On the other side, the main character may struggle against another important
character, against the forces of nature, against society, or even against something inside himself or herself (feelings,
emotions, and illness).
THEME - The theme is the central idea or belief in a short story.
 Limited number of characters
 Short time spen
 One main action
 Limited places of action
 Characters are not fully developed
 Often open ending
 Mostly no exposition: - text starts with the action itself
 Special event in the life of the characters

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We know the planet isn’t actually a stage in the literal sense. is directed more at the fear people sometimes feel when a big storm is headed their way. If you’ve ever studied Shakespeare. Something might be “Bright and Joyous” or it may be “Dark and Gloomy.” That’s a metaphor. It’s often thought of through the use of a repetitive letter: “Mix a box of mixed biscuits with a boxed biscuit mixer. Page 2 of 2 . but one of those things is very different than the other. Descriptive language is used to describe items within the narrative. sounds. Even plays. People shudder when a storm is severe. a. The metaphor is simply used to convey an idea about the mechanics of how humanity isn’t really in control of how they enter or exit the world… or behave within it. 3. Metaphors: This type of narrative writing incorporates a figure of speech that equates two ideas. It is important to remember that a simile differs from a metaphor because it typically uses connective words to complete the description.” Sentence rhythm can also be a form of alliteration when you’re using similar syllable numbers or similar words throughout a paragraph or page. “All the world’s a stage. This type of narrative is not intended to be read in the literal sense. and movies benefit from the various forms of narrative writing that exist.” then the description used would be a simile.HAZEL BUBAN 7-BALATAN TYPES OF NARRATIVE Narrative . which means they can directly relate to the rocks shuddering. or at the least more emphatic. a. then you’ve seen a number of metaphors in action. Personification: This type of narrative writing gives objects without life certain human characteristics or animal-like qualities. If someone is “crazy like a fox. This means there are several types of narrative writing that can be used to convey the necessary messages. a. “The rocks shuddered at the coming storm. It is instead intended to provide a better description of what is really going on with a character or event. Similes: This type of narrative writing compares two things together.” then you are using this technique to describe just how hungry you are. a. a.” 4. It appeals to the senses of the reader through figurative language that makes sights. Hyperbole: This type of narrative writing is used when an over-exaggeration is necessary to make a point.A narrative is simply a written account that provides readers access to events that are connected to each other within the context of a story. The goal is to create a description that is more vivid to the reader. and even smells seem tangible and real. We use hyperbole every day. 1. but the wind of an incoming storm could make them move and shudder. Imagery: This type of narrative writing will create a visual reference for the reader. 6. Alliteration: This type of narrative is used to create repetition through the rhythms and structures of the actual words that are being offered to the reader. music. such as “like” in the example used above. 5. a. situations. If you are “so hungry that you could eat a horse. 2. however.” We all know that the rocks themselves cannot shudder. The personification here. or even characters together.