Story Element Notes - Mr. Sebek, Room 213

• the feeling the writer creates for the readers
• Moods may be suspenseful, sad, exciting or
• The young boy sat upright in bed, sure that he
had heard a sound in the hallway. He strained
to listen more closely. Were those footsteps
that he heard creeping towards his room? But
how can that be…he was home alone tonight.
He looked over at his door and noticed the
doorknob begin to slowly turn in a clockwise
direction. Whoever or whatever was in the
hallway was about to come into his room!
• the writer’s attitude toward
his/her subject
• Tone can often be inferred by
analyzing the writer’s choice of
words and details.
• A hint about an event that will occur later
in the story.
• Often designed to build suspense and
keep the reader guessing about the
outcome of an event.
• Example: “At the time, we had no idea
that we would never see her again.”
– Chapter Two of Downsiders hints at the
causes of the Great Shaft Disaster which
unfolds later in the story.
• When the author takes the reader back in
time to see an event that has already
• Helps the reader understand a situation
• Gives background information
• Often occurs as a dream, daydreaming, or
a character being “lost” in thought.
• Turn to page 7 of The Conch Bearer
• Skim and scan the page. Can you find the
Point of View (POV)
• The way in which the author
chooses to tell the story.
• Four main points of view
4 Points of View
• 1st person – the story is told by a character of
the story using “I” speak. Think personal
– (Examples: Twilight, Lightning Thief, La Linea, The
Dream Bearer)
• 2nd person – rarely used in fiction. Uses “You”
speak. Most often seen in how-to or self help
writing. (Example: How to get Organized without
Losing It)
4 Points of View (cont.)
• 3rd person limited – the story is told by a narrator
who is not part of the story. The narrator follows
ONE character through the story.
– (Examples: Bar Code Tattoo, Stormbreaker, The
Conch Bearer)
• 3rd person omniscient – the story is told by a
narrator who is not part of the story. This
narrator can follow SEVERAL or ALL characters
at the same time through the story. Usually
uses different chapters to tell about different
– (Examples: Harry Potter, Ranger’s Apprentice,
Artemis Fowl)
• A person, place or object that stands for
something else.
• Often stand for something invisible like a
feeling or idea
• What is a common symbol for
– Freedom
- Love
• An extreme exaggeration that
emphasizes a point
• It is not meant to be taken literally
• Example: I am so hungry I could
eat a horse!
In a house the size of a postage stamp
lived a man as big as a barge.
His mouth could drink the entire river
You could say it was rather large
For dinner he would eat a trillion beans
And a silo full of grain,
Washed it down with a tanker of milk
As if he were a drain.
• A type of metaphor in which human
characteristics or feelings are given to
an animal or object
• Example: The young kitten jumped for
• Example: The grass whispers softly in
the wind.
The Cat & The Fiddle
Hey diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the
By Mother Goose
• A way of describing something using
the words “like” or “as” in a comparison
• Example: Her hair is as beautiful as a
• Example: His eyes twinkled like stars in
the sky.
An emerald is as green as grass,
A ruby red as blood;
A sapphire shines as blue as heaven;
A flint lies in the mud.
A diamond is a brilliant stone,
To catch the world's desire;
An opal holds a fiery spark;
But a flint holds a fire.
Christina Rossetti
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely
They have their exits and their
William Shakespeare
• A metaphor is a figure of speech that
says that one thing is another different
thing. This allows us to use fewer words
and forces the reader or listener to find
the similarities.
The simplest form of metaphor is: "The
[first thing] is a [second thing]."
• Her home was a prison.
The Highwayman by Alfred
The wind was a torrent of darkness
among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed
upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight
over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding-Riding--riding-The highwayman came riding, up to the
old inn-door.
Metaphor example
Original sense of the word (example)
The committee shot her ideas
Anti-aircraft guns shoot down planes.
down one by one.
The private detective dug up
enough evidence to convince
the police to act.
Dogs like to hide things. They bury bones and
dig them up later.
He broke into her
Burglars break into buildings.
The new movie was very
popular. People flocked to
see it.
Birds flock together before they migrate.
His head was spinning with
Some computer hard drives spin at over 10,000
revolutions per minute.
He was dressed rather
vulgarly in a loud checked
I can't hear you because the radio is too loud.
It wasn't long before their
relationship turned sour.
Sour food has an acid taste like lemon or vinegar
• The message or moral of the story.
• This is what the author wants the reader to
understand or come away from the story
• It is often a message about life or human
• Themes are not single words – they are
big ideas or sentences.
• One story can have multiple themes.
• Major or important problem
of the story
• Does not always have to be
a bad thing
• Stories have multiple
Internal vs. External Conflicts
Internal Conflict
Conflict that occurs
inside the mind of a
An argument you have
with yourself
A difficult decision that
has to be made
Internal – inside –
External Conflict
Conflict that occurs
outside of the mind
External conflicts can
be seen.
A fist fight or argument
with a friend
A character battling
against a flood
4 Types of Conflicts
• Character vs. character – external
• Character vs. nature – external
• Character vs. society – external
• Character vs. self – internal
Be able to give and recognize examples of
each. 

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