Further Terminology

Plot Devices

What are they? Plot devices are techniques and tricks commonly used in building the structure of a story. Backstory  The history of the character or setting prior to the book’s story beginning. It is usually told in the early stages in order to better understand the scene and character motivations.…

The Dramatic Structure

What is it? Dramatic structure is the idea that storytelling follows a set pattern, in order to create drama. The most popular theory is that described by German writer Gustav Freytag (1816-1895). He based his theory on studies of Greek and Shakespearean works, ultimately coming to identify an arc consisting…

Basic Plots

What are they? A basic plot is a common plot structure that has been used countless times before. It may also be called a standard plot. Although not universally accepted, a theory exists that says the majority of stories follow one of a limited number of plots. Overcoming the Monster …

Basic Character Models

What are they? A basic character model is a familiar type of character that appears in numerous stories. Not all characters fit into a basic character model. Russian scholar Vladimir Propp devised an outline of common basic characters. Hero  The main protagonist. This is the person who is sent on…

Literary Genres

What are they? Works of art with similar styles and themes are categorised in genres. These genres become a canon of works e.g. horror writing, adventure writing. Writers working in these genres may expect their work to be compared to other work within the genre. It is possible for art…

Literary Forms

What are they? Writing can come in many different forms. These forms are the core structural component, framing the length and style of writing. Within basic forms, there exist sub-forms. Forms play an important role in what readers read, as individuals have preferences and certain forms receive greater market space.…

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