Other terms will be added from time to time
as need arises.
Antagonist - The person or item in opposition to the
protagonist; the 'culprit or obstacle' that interferes with the lifestyle the
reader desires for the character with whom they empathize.
Cause and Effect - The relationship in which one condition brings about another condition as a direct result. The result, or consequence, is called the effect.
Character Development - The ways in which the author shows how a character changes as the story proceeds.
Characterization - The way an author informs readers about what characters are like. Direct characterization is when the author describes the character. Indirect characterization is when the reader figures out what the character is like based on what the character thinks, says, or does.
Classify - To arrange according to a category or trait.
Climax - The moment when the action in a story reaches its greatest conflict.
Compare and Contrast - To examine the likenesses and differences of two people, ideas, or things. (Contrast always emphasizes differences. Compare may focus on likenesses alone or on likenesses and differences.
Conflict - The main source of drama and tension in a literary work; a struggle or problem that makes a story interesting. This is the spine or backbone of the story. With no conflict, there would be no story to tell. The excitement in novels develops from the use of five main types of conflict: person against person; person against nature; person against fate; person against society; and person against himself or herself.
Connotation - Something suggested or implied, not actually stated.
Description - An account that gives the reader a mental image or picture of something.
Dialect - A form of language used in a certain geographic region.
Dialogue (dialog) - The conversation in a literary work.
Dramatic Irony - When the reader knows more about the true
state of affairs than the character(s).
Fact - A piece of information that can be proven or verified.
Figurative Language - Description of one thing in terms usually used for something else. Simile, metaphor, and personification are some examples of figurative language.
Flashback - The insertion of an earlier event into the normal chronological sequence of a narrative--turning back the hands of time!
Foreshadowing - The use of clues to give readers a hint of events that will occur later on in the story.
Historical Fiction - Fiction represented in a setting true to the history of the time in which the story takes place.
Hyperbole - A figure of speech in which extreme exaggeration is used.
Imagery - Language that appeals to the senses; the use of figures of speech or vivid description to produce mental images.
Idiom - A phrase that does not mean exactly what it says. (example: Don't let the cat out of the bag.)
Irony - The use of words to express the opposite of their literal meaning.
Legend - A story handed down from earlier times; its truth is popularly accepted but cannot be verified.
Metaphor - A figure of speech that compares two unlike things without the use of 'like' or 'as'; am implied comparison.
Mood - The feeling that the author creates for the reader. The terms used to describe the mood of a novel are generally the same words we use to describe a person's mood: angry, sad, fearful, anxious. The mood often changes in different parts of the story.
Motivation - The reasons for the behavior of a character.
Narrative - The type of writing that tells a story.
Narrator - The character who tells the story.
Onomatopoeia - A word that imitates the sound it refers to.
Opinion - A personal point of view or belief.
Parody - Writing that ridicules or imitates something more serious.
Personification - A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or an abstract idea is given human characteristics.
Play - A literary work that is written in dialogue form and is usually performed before an audience.
Plot - The arrangement or sequence of events in a story.
Point of View - The perspective from which the story is told. (1st person, 3rd person omniscient, 3rd person objective or detached)
Protagonist - The character with whom most readers empathize.
Pun - A play on words that are similar in sound but different in meaning.
Realistic Fiction - True-to-life fiction; the people, places, and happenings are similar to those in real life.
Resolution - The part of the plot from the climax to the ending where the main conflict is worked out.
Satire - A literary work that pokes fun at individual or societal weakness.
Sequencing - The placement of story events in the order of their occurrence.
Setting - The time and place in which the story occurs.
Simile - A figure of speech that uses like or as to compare two unlike things.
Stereotype - A character whose personality traits represent a group rather than an individual.
Suspense - A story quality that produces tension and causes a reader to wonder what will happen next.
Symbolism - The use of something familiar or concrete to represent something unfamiliar or abstract.
Synonyms - Words that are very similar in meaning.
Tall Tale - A exaggerated story detailing unbelievable events.
Theme - The main idea of a literary work; the message that author wants to communicate, sometimes expressed as a generalization about life.
Tone - The quality or feeling conveyed by the work; the author's style or manner of expression.