Six Elements of a Narrative

Plot:  the sequence of events that take place in a story.

Setting:  the time and place in which the events of a story take place.

Characterization:  the methods used to present the personality of a character in a narrative.

Direct--the author describes the character.  Example--She was a large woman with a large purse.

Indirect--the reader judges what the character is like based on what they say or do, or what other characters say about them.  Example--We believe the narrator of "The Tell-Tale Heart" is crazy because he talks nervously and frequently repeats himself.

Atmosphere:  the general mood or feeling established in a piece of literature.  Atmosphere is created through word choice and pacing.

Word Choice--the author uses words that make the reader feel a certain way.  A spooky atmosphere is created in "The Tell-Tale Heart" through the use of words like "hideous," "marrow," "chilled," and "nervous."

Pacing--the author controls the speed at which we read through sentence length, punctuation, repetition of words and other techniques.

Point of View:  who is narrating the story (2 main types:  First Person, Third Person) 

First person:  the narrator uses "I" to tell the action, and is involved in the story. 

Third person:  the story is told from a perspective outside the story.  The characters are referred to by name, or as he, she or they.

Conflict: the central problem that drives the action of a story.  (two main types)  

Internal:  The conflict happens in a character's mind.  A character with a guilty conscience is an example of internal conflict.  

External:  The conflict happens between characters, or between a character and some outside force, like nature.  Sherlock Holmes pursuing a criminal is an example of external conflict.