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Sunday, April 05, 2009

For Reading Fiction: Handy Summary of the Elements of Character, Plot, Setting, etc.

For anyone who is trying to read fiction attentively, here is the best one-page summary of the elements of fiction – Character, Plot, Setting, and others – by Dr. Marilyn H. Stauffer of the University of South Florida.

If all you need is a quick refresher, then print out that page and save yourself from having to spend $85 on a textbook like Perrine's Literature.


Character Dynamic Static
Round Considered the best type of character development. Usually the protagonist. Development is considered well-done. Often found in protagonists in books for younger children.
Flat Characters cannot be dynamic and flat, because in a flat character we do not know enough about them for them to recognize a change. If a flat character seems to change, it is usually due to poor writing. In very simple books, or in fairy tales, the protagonist may be flat and static. Also appropriate for minor characters in other books.

I had to dig deep into the November 2007 archives of the Wayback Machine to find the original copy of this page.


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