The elements of fiction

Home Forums Parent forum Introduction to Fiction The elements of fiction

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • The elements of fiction
  • #12783


    If stories are meant to “just be” based off of Charter’s essay, is there any reason to search for a them? DOesn’t that mean there are endless themes to just one story?
    Can the theme of a story gives you insight to a character’s style or personality? is so, how? if not, why?


    johannah rodgers


    These are fascinating and really important questions that you pose. Just to clarify, could you let us know more about the Charter’s quote you are referring to, i.e., page number, complete quote, essay title (is it from the introduction or the Elements of Fiction essay?). To respond briefly to some of your other questions: “Can the theme of a story gives you insight to a character’s style or personality?” I’d say absolutely, though the way in which the “dialogue” between character and theme can be complex. Regarding the question of whether there are “endless (possible) themes” to a story, the simple answer is, “yes,” but in practice, which means putting together a close reading of a story and understanding how the elements of fiction relate to one another, I’d say that you will find a select number of dominant and most relevant themes. This is an issue that also comes up at times in relation to character analysis. For example, given that an author can only tell us so much about a character, does this then mean that a reader can make assumptions about the character based on what is not said about him/her. If you’re interested in reading more about these issues, I’d recommend taking a look at specific chapters in Robert Scholes’ book _The Nature of Narrative_, which you can access via the City Tech Library here:


    Gustavo M

    Elements of Fiction

    From the reading I have consider the following question, if Fiction is based on imaginative events are written with thoughts of human nature in mind, then what if stories are written without the thought of that in mind? To simplify, if fiction is really based on imagination and the many events or experience it may or may not have then why not expand the imagination even more and not include the thought of human nature in the process? From the author of the elements of nature the author states, “By the term character we usually mean a human being with emotions whose mind works something like our own.” [pg1730 character section 2nd paragraph last sentence]


    johannah rodgers

    Gustavo, Thanks for this. Could you clarify your question(s) a bit? I’m not quite understanding. Thanks!


    How can one know they are truley experiencing the full effect of a book? In fiction the same way a painter uses a canvas to convey a message an author uses fiction to show you an image. When we read we may seperate the book into sections and by not doing so we may be able to have the full experience of the book but what would let me know I did. One interpretation of fiction can be completely diffrent than another’s. Wouldn’t each experience be diffrent then?



    It takes time to understand a whole story for me.
    But I understood about Plot, Setting,Point of view.
    My questions are
    From the section of Character(1730-1732), what exactly meaning of flat and round character? I can not understand what those meaning.
    Next, why the authors prefer irony on the fiction? And why people prefer it too?
    Allegory is also kind of fiction? And drama=fiction?



    From redading Charters elements of fiction, theme is a generalization of the meaning of a story. My question is can a story have more than one theme?
    Also Charters states, your statement of the theme suggest your understanding of the authors vision of the meaning of life , does this mean we always relate fiction to human experience? and can my statement of the theme be considered right or wrong?
    Symbolism and allegory are both aspects of the authors style. can you give an example of when a story becomes an allegory?


    Kon Manevich

    To Ami:
    Flat character is a character who isn’t fully described or played out in the story. A character like that can feel unimportant or secondary. A round character would be the opposite of that. Someone who’s ‘well-rounded’ when it comes to his/her description. We understand or relate to that character; it is an important character to us (protagonist/antagonist are almost always round/dynamic characters).

    My question is : do we have to use all 6 elements when we analyze a work of fiction? Can we add/omit some of the elements?



    My question after reading “The elements of fiction,” is that if symbolism is just an ” abstract meaning to the reader” does it truly help the story progress or is it just more of an Easter egg within the story?



    While reading “Elements of fiction,” i came to realize that there is a lot of elements involved in fiction and what we (I) actually thought i knew. the main ones setting and plot are so thoroughly explained that i had myself going back to some stories and fitting them in to things i just read.
    my question is:
    must all fiction novels and stories have these specific elements in order it to be a spectacular fiction literature? or can some of the elements be kept out and be put into the work.
    the reason i ask is because some short stories are so short its hard to say if all the elements can be found in the story, so will that be considered as a literature of fiction?


    Elements to Fiction
    After reading the traits of Fiction, it became less ambiguous and more coherent as to what Fiction really is. To be honest, most of the examples that were used in the essay were already clear to me from the start. For example, a plot should have an analysis of Exposition, Rising Action,Turning Point, Climax, Falling Action, and Conclusion. What I am wondering is if every piece of literature that is Fiction must include these traits in order to progress the story further and to keep the reader interested or would there be any other process in Fiction that could work and still keep readers interested? Also, the sense of external and internal reality is clear to me, but I’m still confused as to how it applies to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “Young Goodman Brown”? Finally, must there always be narration to a Fiction story, and does anyone believe it would actually put emphasis on the plot?



    After reading further about The Elements of Fiction, I don’t understand some things about an allegory. What does “point-by-point fashion” mean exactly? The entire idea behind an allegory is unclear and an example of a short story that is one would be helpful.



    I have a few questions that are more based on personal opinion, such as:
    1) Which element is the most important? (If you could pick one)
    2)Do you think it is possible to write a story with only one element? (Why or why not)
    3) Why is it that when describing a setting even though few words are used the mental picture painted is so vivid?


    are these elements only limited to the genre of fiction?



    One of the questions i have after the reread of the elements of fiction is for the charater portion. Im reading “Raisin in the Sun” for one of my classes and the plant is very symbolic as well as a big part of the play so it make me wonder if an object can be considered a character as well or maybe not in my example but in other text is it possible?




    I think the plot is the most important part because with out it the other elements would have no purpose, the plot and the story fall hand in hand with eachother and these things are what keep the reader invested .

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.