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29 Terms
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The person or force who opposes the protagonist; tries to prevent the protagonist from reaching their goal.
The methods a writer uses to communicate information about characters to readers. When the author tells the reader directly about a character, it is called direct characterization. When the author shows the character in action and lets readers draw their own conclusions, it is called indirect characterization.
The moment when the action comes to its highest point of dramatic conflict. Most often, the climax occurs before the actual ending of the story.
Any obstacle that increases the tension of the story conflict.
Involves a struggle between two opposing forces; generally a protagonist and antagonist/antagonistic force. The four major conflict types are Person v. Nature, Person v. Person, Person v. Self and Person v. Society.
Representation of characters, scenes, or action, used to make the story more vivid for the reader.
The actual words that characters speak. Authors use dialogue to portray characters and to dramatize conflict.
Dramatic Irony
A technique that increases suspense by letting readers know more about the dramatic situation than the characters know.
Background material about the characters, setting, and dramatic situation with which the author introduces the essentials of the story to the reader.
Falling Action
The part of the story, following the climax and leading to the resolution, in which there is a sharp decline in dramatic tension.
A writing technique that gives readers clues about events that will happen later in the story.
An exaggerated statement used to make a strong effect.
Inciting Force
The event or character that triggers the conflict.
A particular tone created when what occurs is the opposite of what you expect.
The overall feeling - light and happy or dark and brooding, for example - created by an author's choice of words.
A speaker or character who tells a story.
Point of View
The perspective from which a story is told.
The central character(s) of the story; has a goal that he/she is trying to reach.
The conclusion of the story. This is how the story is wrapped up - it doesn't have to be a "happy" ending. Another term for resolution is denouement.
Rising Action
The part of the story in which the tension rises. Rising action comes after the inciting force and builds to its highest point of tension at the story's climax.
The environment in which the story takes place.
The framework that determines how a story is put together - its "skeleton." The structure of many stories includes four basic parts: exposition, inciting force, climax, and resolution.
The characteristic ways that an individual author uses language - including word choice, length and complexity of sentences, patterns of sound, and use of imagery and symbols.
Techniques used by the author to keep readers interested in the story and wondering what will happen next.
An image, object, character, or action that stands for an idea (or ideas) beyond its literal meaning.
The message or lesson that the author intends to communicate by telling the story. Themes are often universal truths that are suggested by the specifics of the story. Themes are told in complete sentences.
The clues in a story that suggest the writer's (or narrator's) own attitude toward elements of his or her story.
A figure of speech in which the speaker says less than what he or she actually feels.
Verbal Irony
When the speaker says one thing but means/feels the opposite.