The Short Story

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The Short Story. Elements & Plot Structure. The Short Story. Definition. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • The Short StoryElements & Plot Structure

  • The Short Story A short story is a form of short fictional narrative prose, tending to be more concise than longer works of fiction. The term most often refers to a work of fiction no longer than 20,000 words and no shorter than 1,000.

    Short stories tend to be less complex than novels, focusing on only one incident, with a single plot, a single setting, a limited number of characters, and covering a short period of time.

    Short stories have their origins in narrative storytelling and prose anecdote, a swiftly-sketched situation that comes rapidly to its point.

    Of course, as with any art form, the exact characteristics of a short story will vary by author.Definition

  • The Short StoryShort stories date back to the story-telling traditions which produced such notable tales as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Short sections of these tales focused on individual narratives that could be told at one sitting. The overall arch of the story would only emerge through the telling of multiple sections of the tale.

    Fables, which tend to be folk tales with an explicitly expressed moral, were said by the Greek historian Herodotus to have been invented by a Greek slave named Aesop in the 6th century BCE (although other times and nationalities are also given for Aesop). These ancient fables are known today as Aesop's Fables.

    The other ancient form of short story, anecdotes, were popular during the years of the Roman Empire. Anecdotes functioned as a sort of parable, a brief realistic narration that embodies a point. Many of the surviving Roman anecdotes were later collected in the Gesta Romanorum in the 13th or 14th century. Anecdotes remained popular in Europe well into the 18th century, when the fictional anecdotal letters of Sir Roger de Coverley were published.Origins

  • The Short StoryIn Europe, the oral story-telling tradition began to develop into written stories in the early 14th century, most notably with Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron. Both of these books are composed of individual short stories (which range from farce or humorous anecdotes to well-crafted literary fictions) set within a larger narrative story (a frame story), although the frame tale device was not adopted by all writers. At the end of the 16th century, some of the most popular short stories in Europe were the darkly tragic "novella" of Matteo Bandello (especially in their French translation). During the Renaissance, the term novella was used when referring to short stories.

    The mid 17th century in France saw the development of a refined short novel, the "nouvelle", by such authors as Madame de Lafayette. In the 1690s, traditional fairy tales began to be published (one of the most famous collections was by Charles Perrault). The appearance of Antoine Galland's first modern translation of the Thousand and One Nights (or Arabian Nights from 1704; another translation appeared in 171012) would have an enormous influence on the 18th century European short stories of Voltaire, Diderot and others.Origins

  • ElementsObviously, subject matter for short stories over the years has varied wildly, ranging from the mundane to the fantastic.

    Today, we will look at a familiar story, Little Red Riding Hood, to analyze it for elements of the short story.

    Model

  • ElementsSetting Setting is the time and place of a storys action, and includes ideas, customs, values, and beliefs.Little Red Riding Hood takes place in the woods a long time ago.

  • ElementsCharacters Characters are the actors in a storys plot. They can be people, animals, ghosts, mythological creatures, or anything else within the authors imagination.The PROTAGONIST is the main character. The ANTAGONIST is in conflict with the main character. Not all stories have protagonists.The characters in the story are Little Red Riding Hood, the Big Bad Wolf, the Grandmother, and the woodsman. Little Red Riding Hood is the protagonist. The Big Bad Wolf is the antagonist.

  • ElementsPoint of View Point of view refers to the relationship of the NARRATOR, or storyteller, of the story. In FIRST-PERSON point of view, the narrator is a character, and is referred to using personal pronouns, including, I. In THIRD-PERSON point of view, the narrator reveals thoughts of only one character, referring to that character using pronouns like, he or she. In THIRD-PERSON OMNISCIENT point of view, the narrator knows everything about the storys events and reveals the thoughts of all the storys characters. Little Red Riding Hood is traditionally told from the THIRD-PERSON OMNISCIENT point of view: the narrator explains what Little Red Riding Hood is doing as well as what is happening to her and her grandmother.

  • ElementsThemeTheme is the central idea or message of a story, often a perception about life or human nature. STATED themes are directly presented in a story. IMPLIED themes must be inferred by considering all the elements of a story and asking what message about life is conveyed. The theme of Little Red Riding Hood is IMPLIED. While the narrator does not directly state a message, the reader can infer it: be suspicious of things and people that do not appear the way they should.

  • ElementsPlotPlot is the sequence of events in a story. Each event causes or leads to the next. Plot is often created through CONFLICT, a struggle between opposing forces. An EXTERNAL conflict is one between a character and an outside force, such as another character, nature, society, fate, etc. An INTERNAL conflict takes place within the mind of a character who is torn between opposing feelings or different courses of action. In Little Red Riding Hood, the conflict is EXTERNALLittle Red Riding Hood versus The Big Bad Wolf.

  • Short Story TriangleMost plots develop in five stages, and can be expressed in the form of a triangle.

    The chart, first developed in 1863 by Gustav Freytag and consequently also known as Freytags Triangle, is a diagram of plot structure which shows complication and emotional tension rising like one side of a pyramid toward its apex, which represents the climax of action. Once the climax is over, the descending side of the pyramid depicts the decrease in tension and complication as the work reaches its conclusion and denouement.

    Freytag designed the chart for discussing tragedy, but it can be applied to many kinds of fiction.

  • Short Story TriangleExposition1. EXPOSITION introduces the storys characters, setting, and conflict.Most plots develop in five stages:

  • Short Story TriangleExpositionRising Action2. RISING ACTION occurs as complications, twists, or intensifications of the conflict occurMost plots develop in five stages:

  • Short Story TriangleExpositionRising ActionClimax3. CLIMAX is the emotional high point of the story.Most plots develop in five stages:

  • Short Story TriangleExpositionRising ActionClimaxFalling Action4. FALLING ACTION is the logical result of the climax.Most plots develop in five stages:

  • Short Story TriangleExpositionRising ActionResolutionClimaxFalling Action5. RESOLUTION presents the final outcome of the story.Most plots develop in five stages:

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionModel: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionLittle Red Riding Hood has prepared a basket of goodies for her grandmother. She begins walking through dangerous woods to deliver the basket.Model: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionLittle Red Riding Hood has prepared a basket of goodies for her grandmother. She begins walking through dangerous woods to deliver the basket.The Big Bad Wolf spots Little Red walking in the woods and asks her where shes going with the basket of treats.Model: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionLittle Red Riding Hood has prepared a basket of goodies for her grandmother. She begins walking through dangerous woods to deliver the basket.The Big Bad Wolf spots Little Red walking in the woods and asks her where shes going with the basket of treats.The Wolf runs to the grandmothers house , eats her, puts on her bonnet, glasses, and night gown, and climbs into her bed.Model: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionLittle Red Riding Hood has prepared a basket of goodies for her grandmother. She begins walking through dangerous woods to deliver the basket.The Big Bad Wolf spots Little Red walking in the woods and asks her where shes going with the basket of treats.The Wolf runs to the grandmothers house , eats her, puts on her bonnet, glasses, and night gown, and climbs into her bed.Little Red arrives at her grandmothers house and sits on a stool at the disguised wolfs bedside.Model: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

  • Short Story TriangleClimaxFalling ActionLittle Red Riding Hood has prepared a basket of goodies for her grandmother. She begins walking through dangerous woods to deliver the basket.The Big Bad Wolf spots Little Red walking in the woods and asks her where shes going with the basket of treats.The Wolf runs to the grandmothers house , eats her, puts on her bonnet, glasses, and night gown, and climbs into her bed.Little Red arrives at her grandmothers house and sits on a stool at the disguised wolfs bedside.Little Red questions all the things that appear different about her grandmother.Model: Little Red Riding HoodExpositionRising ActionResolution

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