2. It is beginning of the
story where characters,
setting, and the main
conflict are typically
It is beginning of the story
where characters, setting,
and the main conflict are
It is where the main character
is in crisis and events leading
up to facing the conflict begin
to unfold. Also, it is where the
story becomes complicated.
ACTION It is the peak of the story, it is where
major event occurs in which the main
character faces a major enemy, fear,
challenge, or other source of conflict.
The most action, drama, change, and
excitement occurs here.
It is where the story begins to
slow down and work towards
its end, tying up loose ends.
Also known as the denouement, the
resolution is like a concluding
paragraph that resolves any
remaining issues and ends the
Elements of Factual/Nonfictional in Texts
A plot is the sequence of events that make up a story, it is either told, written, filmed, or sung. The plot is
the story, and more specifically, how the story is being developed, unfolds, and moves in time. Plots are
typically made up of five main elements:
3. Here are a few very short stories with sample plots:
Kaitlin wants to buy a puppy. She goes to the pound and begins looking through the
cages for her future pet. At the end of the hallway, she sees a small, sweet brown
dog with a white spot on its nose. At that instant, she knows she wants to adopt
him. After he receives shots and a medical check, she and the dog, Berkley, go
In this example, the exposition introduces us to Kaitlin and her conflict. She wants a
puppy but does not have one. The rising action occurs as she enters the pound and
begins looking. The climax is when she sees the dog of her dreams and decides to
adopt him. The falling action consists of a quick medical check before the
resolution, or ending, when Kaitlin and Berkley happily head home.
4. Example 2
Scott wants to be on the football team, but he’s worried he won’t make
the team. He spends weeks working out as hard as possible,
preparing for try outs. At try outs, he amazes coaches with his skill as
a quarterback. They ask him to be their starting quarterback that year
and give him a jersey. Scott leaves the field, ecstatic!
The exposition introduces Scott and his conflict: he wants to be on the
team but he doubts his ability to make it. The rising action consists of
his training and try-out; the climax occurs when the coaches tell him
he’s been chosen to be quarterback. The falling action is when Scott
takes a jersey and the resolution is him leaving the try-outs as a new,
5. Each of these stories has
an exposition as characters and conflicts are
a rising action which brings the character to the
climax as conflicts are developed and faced, and
a falling action and resolution as the story concludes.
6. Types of Plot
There are many types of plots in the world! But, realistically, most of them fit
some pattern that we can see in more than one story. Here are some classic plots
that can be seen in numerous stories all over the world and throughout history.
a. Overcoming the Monster
The protagonist must defeat a monster or force in order to save some people—
usually everybody! Most often, the protagonist is forced into this conflict, and comes
out of it as a hero, or even a king. This is one version of the world’s most universal
and compelling plot—the ‘monomyth’ described by the great thinker Joseph
Beowulf, Harry Potter, and Star Wars.
7. b. Rags to Riches:
This story can begin with the protagonist being poor or rich, but at some point, the
protagonist will have everything, lose everything, and then gain it all back by the
end of the story, after experiencing great personal growth.
The Count of Monte Cristo, Cinderella, and Jane Eyre.
c. The Quest:
The protagonist embarks on a quest involving travel and dangerous adventures in
order to find treasure or solve a huge problem. Usually, the protagonist is forced to
begin the quest but makes friends that help face the many tests and obstacles
along the way. This is also a version of Campbell’s monomyth.
The Iliad, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon
8. d. Voyage and Return:
The protagonist goes on a journey to a strange or unknown place, facing danger
and adventures along the way, returning home with experience and
understanding. This is also a version of the monomyth.
Alice in Wonderland, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Wizard of Oz
A happy and fun character finds a happy ending after triumphing over difficulties and
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Home Alone
9. f. Tragedy:
The protagonist experiences a conflict which leads to very bad ending, typically death.
Romeo and Juliet, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Macbeth
The protagonist is a villain who becomes a good person through the experience of the
The Secret Garden, A Christmas Carol, The Grinch
As these seven examples show, many stories follow a common pattern. In fact,
according to many thinkers, such as the great novelist Kurt Vonnegut, and Joseph
Campbell, there are only a few basic patterns, which are mixed and combined to form
10. The Importance of Using Plot
The plot is what makes a story a story. It gives the story
character development, suspense, energy, and emotional
release (also known as ‘catharsis’). It allows an author to
develop themes and most importantly, conflict that makes a
story emotionally engaging; everybody knows how hard it
is to stop watching a movie before the conflict is resolved.
11. Plots can be found in all kinds of fiction. Here are a few examples.
The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
In The Razor’s Edge, Larry Darrell returns from World War I disillusioned. His
fiancée, friends, and family urge him to find work, but he does not want to. He
embarks on a voyage through Europe and Asia seeking higher truth. Finally, in
Asia, he finds a more meaningful way of life.
In this novel, the plot follows the protagonist Larry as he seeks meaningful
experiences. The story begins with the exposition of a disillusioned young man
who does not want to work. The rising action occurs as he travels seeking an
education. The story climaxes when he becomes a man perfectly at peace in
12. Example 2
The Road not Taken’ by Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost’s famous poem “The Road Not
Taken,” has a very clear plot: The exposition
occurs when a man stands at the fork of two
roads, his conflict being which road to take. The
climax occurs when he chooses the unique
path. The resolution announces that “that has
made all the difference,” meaning the man has
made a significant and meaningful decision.
13. Plot Devices are ways of propelling the storyline to move
forward. It serves to motivate the characters, creating urgency of
resolving complicated situations. This however can be compared
with moving a story forward using a dramatic method by making it
happen since the character are capable of doing “well developed
Plot Outline is a narrative of a story that can be transformed into
a film. It consists of a page with longer and detailed synopsis
summarized into one or two paragraphs.
14. B. Conflict are problems, issues, or situations that the character needs to resolve
through time. Conflict is often expressed through the actions and dialogues of the
Types of Conflict
(1)One Character Against Another Conflict shows one character
having a grievance against another character.
(2)A Character or Group Against Society Conflict demonstrates a
character who is against society’s values, ideas, norms, culture,
(3)A Character Against Nature Conflict reflects a character who is
wrestling with natural disasters or calamities.
(4)Character Against Himself or Herself Conflict illustrates the inner
struggles and emotions of the character (wood, 2013).
15. Theme pertains to the idea that philosophers deeply think or it is simply the subject
of the story.
A character is an individual (could be an object or animal but usually
as a person) in a narrative in a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. The
act or method of creating a character in writing is known as
Characters perform actions, create dialogues, and can be seen
through their physical appearance. “A character may provide
background information, description, or an assessment of another
character’s life or personality. However, be sure to filter out character’s
bias (woods, 2013, p.142).
16. Types of Characterization
1.Direct (Explicit) Characterization- informs the readers of what the
character is like which can be deciphered through the narrator, or
through how the characters behave, act, or speak.
2.Indirect (Implicit) Characterization – allows the readers to infer
about the character’s thoughts, actions, conversations, physical
appearance, idiosyncrasies, and workmanship or team play with
The Character’s conversations will reflect his or her personality,
determining whether the character is educated or not, the formality
and informality of the situation.
17. Point of view is the perspective from which a speaker or writer
recounts a narrative or presents information. This is also known as a
viewpoint. This depends on the topic, purpose, and audience. Writers
of nonfiction may rely on the first-person point of view (I, we), the
second-person (you, your, you're), or the third-person (he, she, it,
18. With first-person point of view, the character is telling the story. You will see the
words "I," "me," or "we" in first-person point of view. This point of view is commonly
used for narratives and autobiographies.
First-person point of view can be singular or plural. The singular form uses "I" or
"me" and plural form uses the word "we." Both are used to give the writer's personal
Some examples of first-person narrative include:
I always look forward to my summer vacation at the beach. I like to collect
seashells and swim in the ocean.
We love walking the dogs in the woods. We all think it is so much fun.
If it was up to me, I would choose the white car.
We didn't want to drive so we took the train to the city and back home
19. When writing in second-person point of view, the writer has the
narrator speaking to the reader. The words "you," "your," and "yours"
are used in this point of view. Some common uses for second-
person point of view are directions, business writing, technical
writing, song lyrics, speeches, and advertising.
Some examples of second-person point of view are:
In just a few simple steps you can make a big change in your life!
To make a great chili is you must season it early and often.
Management is very happy with the progress you are all making.
You gotta fight for your right to party! - "Fight for Your Right,"
20. Third-person point of view has an external narrator telling the story. The words "he," "she," "it," or
"they" are used in this point of view. This point of view can either be omniscient where the reader
knows what all the characters are doing in the story or it can be limited to having the reader only know
what is happening to one specific character. Third person can also be gender specific or neutral,
singular or plural.
Third-person point of view is often used in academic writing and fictional writing.
Some examples of third person point of view:
He is a great football player. He scored the most touchdowns this season.
She was the one who knew all the answers on the test. She had the highest grade in the entire
What they told her was not the truth.
She heard a loud crash in the middle of the night. She was so scared that she didn't know what she
should do next.
21. Angle of the Story
Angle is the precise way to choose on how to tell a story — it’s
the element that sets your story apart from all the rest. In other
words, a way of presenting your information and telling the story
that makes it interesting, unique, and memorable.
Angle can be opposite to the ending of the essay, it can be
comparisons, or opposing point of views.
22. black – evil or death ladder – connection between heaven and
broken mirror – separation light – good, power
dark – death, shadows night – end of road, peace, death or darkness
day – beginning, good, opportunities red rose – love and romance
dove – peace water – baptism, purification
fire – danger, anger, passion, love, pain
Symbols or Symbolism
Symbols in literary writing is usually applied in poetry and each symbol signifies a meaning. When an author
introduces a particular mood or emotion, the writer uses symbolism, hinting it rather than saying it literally.
Some common types of symbols are:
Symbolism is employed by writers to make the literary piece interesting and the ability of not giving the literal
sense of the ideas or things. Likewise, an action, event, or exchange of words in a conversation may illicit symbolic
values (Literary Devices).
Irony is the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal
Irony is a storytelling tool used to create a contrast between how things seem
and how they really are beneath the surface. The term comes from the Latin
word ironia, which means “feigned ignorance.” The three main types used in
literature are dramatic, situational, and verbal, as mentioned above.
People often conflate irony with sarcasm, coincidence, or bad luck. While these
concepts can have ironic characteristics, they’re not interchangeable with irony.
So for example, if you run to catch the bus and miss it by two seconds, that’s not
ironic — unless the reason you’re late is that you were bragging about how you
wouldn’t miss the bus. This creates an unexpected and comic contrast to what
would otherwise just be an unfortunate situation.
24. Figures of Speech
A figure of speech is a word or phrase that possesses a separate
meaning from its literal definition. It can be metaphor or simile,
designed to make a comparison. It can be the repetition of alliteration
or the exaggeration of hyperbole to provide a dramatic effect.
25. Types of Figure of Speech
There are countless figures of speech in every language, and they fall
into hundreds of categories. Here, though, is a short list of some of the
most common types of figure of speech:
Many common figures of speech are metaphors. That is, they use words
in a manner other than their literal meaning. However, metaphors use
figurative language to make comparisons between unrelated things or
ideas. The “peak of her career,” for example, is a metaphor, since a
career is not a literal mountain with a peak, but the metaphor represents
the idea of arriving at the highest point of one’s career.
26. B. Idiom
An idiom is a common phrase with a figurative meaning. Idioms are different
from other figures of speech in that their figurative meanings are mostly known
within a particular language, culture, or group of people. In fact, the English
language alone has about 25,000 idioms. Some examples include “it’s raining
cats and dogs” when it is raining hard, or “break a leg” when wishing someone
This sentence uses an idiom to make it more interesting:
There’s a supermarket and a pharmacy in the mall, so if we go there, we
can kill two birds with one stone.
The idiom is a common way of saying that two tasks can be completed in the
same amount of time or same place.
27. C. Proverb
A proverb is a short, commonplace saying that is universally
understood in today’s language and used to express general truths.
“Don’t cry over spilt milk” is a popular example. Most proverbs employ
metaphors (e.g. the proverb about milk isn’t literally about milk).
This example uses a proverb to emphasize the situation:
I know you think you’re going to sell all of those cookies, but don’t
count your chickens before they hatch!
Here, “don’t count your chickens before they hatch” means that you
shouldn’t act like something has happened before it actually does.
28. D. Simile
A simile is a very common figure of speech that uses the words “like” and “as” to
compare two things that are not related by definition. For example, “he is as tall as a
mountain,” doesn’t mean he was actually 1,000 feet tall, it just means he was really
This example uses a simile for comparison:
The internet is like a window to the world—you can learn about everything online!
The common phrase “window to the world” refers to a hypothetical window that lets
you see the whole world from it. So, saying the internet is like a window to the world
implies that it lets you see anything and everything.
29. E. Oxymoron
An oxymoron is when you use two words together that have
contradictory meanings. Some common examples include small
crowd, definitely possible, old news, little giant, and so on.
A metonym is a word or phrase that is used to represent something
related to bigger meaning. For example, fleets are sometimes
described as being “thirty sails strong,” meaning thirty (curiously, this
metonym survives in some places, even when the ships in question
are not sail-powered!) Similarly, the crew on board those ships may
be described as “hands” rather than people.
30. G. Irony
Irony is when a word or phrase’s literal meaning is the opposite of its figurative
meaning. Many times (but not always), irony is expressed with sarcasm (see
Related Terms). For example, maybe you eat a really bad cookie, and then say
“Wow, that was the best cookie I ever had”—of course, what you really mean is
that it’s the worst cookie you ever had, but being ironic actually emphasizes just
how bad it was
Dialogue is a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people, and a
literary and theatrical form that depicts such an exchange.
Dialogue, when used as a literary technique, helps to advance the plot of a narrative, as
characters engage in dialogue to reveal plans of action and their inner thoughts and emotions.
Sometimes, authors show us a character's inner dialogue where thoughts and feelings are revealed
as the character has a conversation with him or herself. Often, we read outer dialogue, which occurs
between two characters as spoken language.
Other literary devices:
(1)Hyperbole is a term for overstatement or exaggeration.
(2)Understatement is exactly the opposite of hyperbole, when the writer tries to play down the
significance, magnitude, or intensity of a situation or event.
(3)Incongruity is a circumstance when something is out of proportion or strange situations knit
(4)Irony is a position when there is “a gap between what is said and what is meant” (woods, 2013).
32. Examples of Dialogue:
"Lisa," said Kyle, "I need help moving this box of toys for the garage sale. Will
you help me?"
"Sure!" Lisa put her book down and moved to lift one end of the box for her
brother. She glanced down into the box. "Hey!" she exclaimed. "You can't give
away your Harry Potter collection!"
"Well, I am not taking them to college with me." Kyle smiled at his little sister.
"Do you want them?"
"Yes!" Lisa smiled back. "I will read them all again, and it will remind me of how
we used to pretend to be Harry and Hermione."
"They are yours, Squirt." As Kyle smiled as his sister, he realized how much
things would change in the next few days.
A scene is where the place and time where the action of the literary and factual narrative takes place.
The word ‘scene’ has multiple literary definitions. On one hand, it is ‘A place or setting regarded as having a particular
character or making a particular impression.’ (OED). When we talk of a scene as a unit of story structure, a scene is ‘A
sequence of continuous action in a play, film, opera, or book’ (OED). It’s also ‘A representation of an incident, or the incident
How do these definitions combine? Scenes, individual story units smaller than chapters (but somewhat self-contained),
show us sequences of actions and incidents that reveal place and time, characters’ actions, reactions or dilemmas.
Scenes (in short fiction and novels, plays and films) serve several functions. They:
Move the story forward: They keep us engaged, asking ‘what happens next?’
Establish characters’ arcs or cause and effect. This links to the first point. For example, a scene might begin with a
character missing a train. As a result, the character may be late for a meeting. The reader wonders what impact this small
misfortune will have
Reveal consequences of earlier events. A subsequent scene following the missed train, for example, might show the
consequences for the character when they are late for a crucial meeting
Make a story easier to follow. Scenes chunk what could be a narrative mess into digestible units of action and event.
They allow us to play with how we release information to the reader (for example, a scene resolving an earlier subplot
might only take place much later in a novel. As writers we can make some plot gratification instant and some delayed)