Literary Terms

msLiterary Terms
Plot | Characterization | Point of View | Conflict | Foreshadowing | Irony Tone/Mood | Symbolism | Theme | Imagery | Figurative Language
List compiled by Laura Bokesch, Library Media Teacher(

ELEMENTS OF PLOT All fiction is based on conflict and this conflict is presented in a structured format called PLOT. Exposition : The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story. Foreshadowing : The use of hints or clues to suggest what will happen later in the story.

An author’s use of hints or clues to suggest events that will occur later in the story. Not all foreshadowing is obvious. Frequently, future events are merely hinted at through dialogue, description, or the attitudes and reactions of the characters. Foreshadowing frequently serves two purposes. It builds suspense by raising questions that encourage the reader to go on and find out more about the event that is being foreshadowed. Foreshadowing is also a means of making a narrative more believable by partially preparing the reader for events, which are to follow .

Inciting Force: The event or character that triggers the conflict. Conflict : The essence of fiction. It creates plot. The conflicts we encounter can usually be identified as one of four kinds. (Man versus…Man, Nature, Society, or Self) Rising Action :A series of events that builds from the conflict. It begins with the inciting force and ends with the climax. Crisis : The conflict reaches a turning point. At this point the opposing forces in the story meet and the conflict becomes most intense. The crisis occurs before or at the same time as the climax.

Climax : The climax is the result of the crisis. It is the high point of the story for the reader. Frequently, it is the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion. The point at which...