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Alliteration the repetition of initial consonant sounds

 

analogy makes a comparison between two or more things that are similar in some ways but otherwise unalike

 

anecdote a brief story about an interesting, amusing, or strange event

 

antagonist a character or a force in conflict with a main character, or protagonist

 

autobiography the story of the writer’s own life, told by the writer

 

biography form of nonfiction in which a writer tells the life story of another person

 

character a person or animal that takes part in the action of a literary work.

 

climax  also called the turning of point, is the high point in the action of the plot

 

comedy  a literary work, especially a play, which is light often humorous or satirical

and ends happily

 

conflict a struggle between opposing forces; normally the story’s central problem

 

dialect the form of a language spoken by people in a particular region or group

 

dialogue a conversation between characters

 

drama a story written to be performed by actors

 

essay a short nonfiction work about a particular subject

 

exposition  introduction of the setting, characters, and basic situation

 

expository writing      writing that explains or informs

 

fable    a brief story or poem, usually with animal characters that teaches a lesson, or moral

 

fantasy  highly imaginative writing that contains elements not found in real life

 

fiction  prose writing that tells about imaginary characters and events

 

figurative language writing or speech that is not meant to be taken literally

 

flashback a scene within a story that interrupts the sequence of events to relate events that occurred in the past

 

folk tales told to entertain, but also to communicate the shared ideas of a culture.  The often deal with romance, magic, adventure and heroes.

 

foreshadowing author’s use of clues to hint at what might happen later in the story.

 

genre   a division or type of literature.  Is commonly divided into three major groups poetry, prose, an drama

 

Historical Fiction        Real events, places, or people are incorporated into a fictional or made-up story

 

Images/Imagery    Words or phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses.  Writers use this term to describe how their subjects look, sound, feel, taste, and smell.

 

Legend: stories based on facts; overtime details in legends move further away from factual events to describe people and actions that are more fictional than real

 

metaphor:  a figure of speech in which something is described as though it were something else.

 

moral  a lesson taught by a literary work.  In fables, it is usually directly stated; in other works, it is not directly stated.

 

myth  fictional tales that explain the actions of gods and heroes or explain natural phenomena.

 

universal theme a message about life that can be understood by people of most cultures

 

 

irony involves surprising, interesting, or amusing contradictions.

 

hyperbole an exaggeration or an overstatement. 

 

local customs  unique traditions or ways of life of a particular group.

 

narrator a speaker or a character who tells a story

 

nonfiction prose writing that presents and explains ideas or that tells about real people places, objects, or events.

 

novel   a long work of fiction

 

novella  a fiction work that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel

 

onomatopoeia  the use of words that imitate sounds such as crash, buzz, hiss.

 

oral tradition  the passing of songs, stories, and poems from generation to generation by word of mouth.

 

personification  a type of figurative language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics

 

plot  the arrangement of events in a story.

 

rising action  events that increase tension

 

falling action  events that follow the climax

 

resolution  the final outcome

 

point of view  the perspective from which the story is told, either first person or third person

 

protagonist the main character in a literary work

 

 

scene   divided parts of an act

 

stage directions  sets of bracketed information that tell what the stage looks like and how the characters should move.

 

set   the construction on stage that suggests the time and place of the action

 

props   the movable items such as books, a suitcase, or a flashlight used by actors to make their actions look more realistic

 

tragedy   the form of drama in which events lead to the downfall of the main character.  This character is often a person of great

 

screenplays   scripts from which movies are produced

 

Radio plays   the written format of radio broadcasts.  They included sound effects, but not lighting or stage directions.

 

screenplays   scripts from which movies are produced

 

science fiction   combines elements of fiction and fantasy with scientific fact.

 

short story   a brief work of fiction longer than a novella and not as long as a novel

 

simile   a figure of speech that uses like or as to make a direct comparison between two unlike ideas.

 

theme    a central message, concern, or purpose in a literary work.  Usually expressed as a generalization, or statement, about human beings or about life.

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