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Elements of literary works

Genre, setting, characterization, plot, theme, stance of implied reader, P.O.V, authors style.



The rules of a specific type of work that let a reader know what to expect and how to evaluate what happens.

-if genre is switched reader may feel mislead

-May be a mix of two but has to remain on that line of both


Genres of child literature

Folktales, realistic fiction, fantasy, poetry, historical fiction, biography, informational books
(Not all in neat divisions some can be a mixture of two)


Picture books

Are more a kind of format
Because they can be any type of genre



Works by anonymous authors that were passed on orally from generation to generation


Realistic fiction

Fictional stories that might have happened. In realistic fiction, events are plausible, and settings are usually drawn from actual geography.



Works if otherworldly or supernatural elements



Work in verse


Subtype of Folktales

Fairy tale: tales in which magic is prominent.
Legends: larger-than-life tales of famous people
Fables: stories with a moral
Epics: long rhymed works that relate a hero's exploits
Myths: ancient stories about the gods
Pour quoi stories: lighter stories than myths that explain, often delightfully about the reasons for things


Subtype of realistic fiction

Adventure stories: works that tell of a character struggles against nature or other people.

Humorous stories: works that are funny.

Relationship stories: (or other problems): works that focus on relations between people or a character's struggles with her own self-doubts.

Historical fiction: works with realistic characters and plots set in a historical time and place


Subtype of Fantasy

High fantasy: works that create a parallel universe alongside the real world.

Low fantasy: works in which a magical element intrudes into life in the real world, and makes possible a series of events which otherwise stay very true to life.

Science fiction: works that create a fictionalized setting or set of events based on some projection of scientific knowledge


Subtype of poetry

Narrative poems: works that tell a story in verse

Lyric or expressive poems: verses that convey observations or express feelings

Humorous poems: joke, funny riddles, or humorous stories in verse.

Novels in verse: book-length poems that tell a story



Is a time and place in which the events of a story occurred

How much a setting is described depends on the genre


Setting for realistic fiction

The immediate social group (that is, the people immediately surrounding the character)

The wider social setting (that is, the characters' nationality, race, and social class)

The geography (including what kind of activities typically happen there, as well as what has happened there in the past and how people feel about it)

The historical period (the current decade or earlier ones.)


Setting for Folktales

In no particular time "once upon a time" for example

Don't have a real geography have associations ex in European tales
Home is where normal life is lived and forest is where one may be tested by sinister forces.



The art of creating people out of words on the page


Dimensions of characterization

Actions: what characters do

Relations: who the character's "people are; how the character relates to them

Sense of themselves: how the characters describe themselves

Roles character play: some characters are heroes (protagonist), some are rivals (antagonist), others are helps, others are beneficiaries of the heroes's actions

Authors description: what the author says about them

Author's description:


Round characters

Are characters in a story whom we really get to know, along with their past, their relationships, their motives, their inner thoughts, and changes they go through


Flat characters

A character that does not go through any change or motives are not fully explained. They act in the same manner predictably. No significant change.



Is a meaningful ordering of events with their consequences, a "who did what and why." It helps move the reader though the text before reaching insight.


What is conflict? And the 4 kinds of conflicts

Are struggles or obstacles a character goes through.
1.)between characters
2.)conflict within (internal conflict)
3.)conflict with environment
4.)conflict with society


Plot structures

Introduction / exposition


Rising action


Falling action

Dénouement / resolution


Exposition / introduction

Information necessary to understand the story



Some conflict is introduced and the characters attempt to resolve it


Rising action

Follows complication, as the characters go through situations in which they find themselves and pursue their goal



The point of maximum tension, and when the character resolves the conflict, and things seem to be most at stake


Falling action

Rapid series of events after the climax.


Dénouement / resolution

The problem is solved and the conflict is resolved


Initiation story

A type of plot in which a young character is given some challenge to get through; having successfully met the challenge, she or he is recognized as being more mature or more worthy


The journey

A type of plot in which the character goes off on a voyage meeting challenges along the way growing in awareness of other people, circumstances that surround them, and themselves.