These are the terms we reviewed in class at the beginning of the semester, plus the few more that we added to our list of terms. Many of them come from Ann Charters’s “Elements of Fiction.” You should review them and be sure you know what they mean, (especially the terms for different types of narrators for Essay 1)!
plot: the series of events that give a story its meaning and effect: what happens
rising action: the events in which the drama intensifies, rising toward the climax
climax: the most dramatic and revealing moment, usually the turning point
falling action: when the drama subsides and the conflict is resolved
protagonist: the central agent in generating its plot, and this individual can embody the story’s theme
antagonist: the character or force in conflict with the protagonist
round character: a complex, fully developed character, often prone to change
flat character: A one-dimensional character, typically not central to the story
characterization: The process by which an author presents and develops a fictional character
setting: the story’s time and place, as well as its historical moment or its social context
first-person point of view: narration identifiable by the use of the pronoun “I”
second-person point of view: narrator uses “you” to addresses reader
Third-person point of view: narration doesn’t use “I”; occurs when the narrator does not take part in the story
omniscient narration: when the narrator includes information from anywhere, including characters’ thoughts and feelings. (omniscient=all-knowing)
limited narration: when the narrator can relate what is in the minds of only a select few characters
objective/dramatic narration: when the narrator doesn’t have access to characters’ internal thoughts or background information about the setting or situation.
homodiegetic narration: when the narrator is part of the story-world–a character within the story. This would be a first-person narrator, and can also be called a character narrator.
autodiegetic narration: when the narrator is the protagonist. This is a sub-set of homodiegetic narration
prolepsis: a change in the order of the story representing a flash-forward
analepsis: a change in the order of the story representing a flashback
focalizer: a character whose point of view or thoughts the narrator represents–most closely represented in “Elements of fiction” as a point-of-view character. There can be multiple focalizers in a narrative. The narrator is the focalizer in a homodiegetic, or first-person, narration.
diction: the word choices the author makes to tell the story
tone: the story’s attitude toward its subject matter–it can be earnest, sarcastic, humorous, etc
theme: the meaning or concept central to the story
image: descriptive language that engages on of the senses, such as a visual image that makes the reader imagine what something looks like, or a tactile images that depicts what something feels like, etc
symbol: a repeated image that comes to take on a larger meaning in a given story
allegory: a story in which the symbols, characters, and events represent a different metaphysical, political, or social situation that elevates the meaning of the story