English Fiction Terms

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24 Cards. Created by Paul ().


the principal character who opposes or works against the protagonist or hero in a narrative or drama


a novel that depicts or follows the course of a young person developing himself or herself through knowledge or finding his or her own way in life


a person represented in a drama, story, etc


the point of highest dramatic tension or a major turning point in the action of a story


a type of story or drama of a light or amusing character, sometimes ludicrous or farcical; this type of tale usually ends happily, as with a wedding or engagement


the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a work of drama or fiction


: intended to demonstrate morals, instruct the audience in social responsibility, or, more broadly, show a universal truth


a brief story that dramatizes human weaknesses and points to a moral lesson


a literary genre or an element or quality in a text that hovers between the real and the supernatural; readers will find it hard to decide between a magical and a reasonable explanation of events


: a literary work invented by the imagination or feigned, i.e. an invented story


the interruption of a chronological sequence of events (in a dramatic or literary work) with a memory or description of earlier events


the realm of rituals, songs, stories, legends, and popular practices handed down orally from one person to another, rather than through written transmission


a literary device in which an author suggests certain plot developments that might come later in the story; these suggestions can come through gestures, facial expressions, events, symbols, or even fortunetelling or omens


a kind of literature, e.g. epic, romance, comedy, tragedy, melodrama, lyric, satire, or elegy


the mixture of situation and personality that impels a character to behave the way he or she does

Narrative Arc

the evolution of the plot of the story - what happens, how the character's goals or efforts are complicated or stymied and then eventually resolved - in concert with the character's motivations, beliefs, views, and desires; this facet of the story has four traditional phases: exposition, complication, climax, and resolution


the person or entity who tells the story to the audience; this person's voice might be first-person, second-person, or third-; this person may or may not be reliable, be an active participant in events, or know in advance how the plot will unfold and resolve (3rd omnicious narrator in LS)


an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events


a simple, fable-like story that points beyond itself, showing us a lesson; perhaps the most famous examples are in the Christian gospels (the first four books of the New Testament of the Christian Bible)


the story of the experiences of a hero who lives by his quick wits; often the protagonist is unsophisticated, distrustful, or a social outsider; usually such stories are episodic (a series of adventures or 'scrapes') (Colonel Sun in LS)