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Narrative Terms

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Updated 2007-02-08 22:21

Narrative Terms

 

Terms
Question Answer
Aesthetic1. The study of beauty. 2. Refers to the relationship that exists between beauty and other values, such as truth or love. 3. Refers to the inquiry into the nature of artistic creation and audience appreciation.
CharacterizationHow a writer depicts and develops the appearance, personality, and personal attributes of a character. (Does not have to be confined to people.)
ConflictThe active opposition of characters or ideas; a test of the capacities of one thing or person to overcome whatever competes with or frustrates it/he/she.
ContextThe setting or circumstances under which events occur.
DescriptionThose passages devoted to a presentation of the appearance of characters or the setting.
DictionThe choice and arrangement of words. By “tailoring” their vocabulary with the emotion and action of the story, writers enhance their power to move and convince.
First-Person PerspectivePoint of view (p.o.v.) of the narrator. (also called the “I” perspective).
Imagery Figures of speech such as similes and metaphors. More generally all descriptions that prompt the reader to visualize characters and settings.
MetaphorFigure of speech that compares two unlike things by establishing a relationship between them; the representation of one thing by another.
MoodThe prevailing feeling of the story, generated by the interaction of language, setting, action, and characterization.
ObjectiveDealing with external facts and logic rather than with thoughts and feelings; free from prejudice or bias.
Omniscient PerspectiveP.O.V. where the writer speaks directly to the reader about future events and other matters beyond the knowledge of one or more of the characters.
Open-Ended ConclusionThe reader asks “So What?” and has to think about probable endings to a seemingly unfinished story. But if the story is well written, the likely outcome is clear to the reader. Sometimes, however, a story can be interpreted on various levels, so the outcome of the story neither solves all the problems nor does it answer all the reader’s questions. Some loose ends remain left which are not completely tied up.
PersonificationA figure of speech that bestows human characteristics upon anything nonhuman; likening an inanimate object to a living organism.
PlotPhases of action in a story that are linked together by a chain of causal relationships.
Point of ViewThe evens of a story told as they appear to one or more participants or observers.
Second-Person PerspectiveP.O.V. in which the narrator directly addresses the reader (“you”).
SettingThe time, place, and conditions under which the action of the story occurs.
SimileA type of metaphor that uses “like” or “as” to compare to objects.
Speaker TagA phrase, usually made up of a noun or pronoun and a verb, that designates a speaker in writing.
StyleA writer’s way of expressing him or herself through a distinct combination of language, structure, and other compositional elements.
SubjectiveThought process that is introspective and that draws from experience, bias, prejudice; though process that values personal feeling and opinion over fact-based assessment.
Third Person PerspectiveP.O.V. by which the writer limits perspective by what could have been observed or known by one or more characters at any given point. (“he, she, it they”).
ToneA broad term used to describe the prevailing attitude a writer exhibits.
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