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  1. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Literary Term Analysis

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sapphire, Dec 5, 2006.

    To me, something I have learned this year in English 2, is that creating a Literary Term Analysis usually helps out with studying a book or organizing one. I am doing this currently with my novel and it is really helping me add all of the elements of a book into my writing and making sure I don't leave anything out. Here are the terms I am using:

    -Antagonist
    -Atmosphere/Mood
    -Characterization
    -Climax
    -Conflict (Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Self)
    -Diction
    -Foreshadowing
    -Imagery
    -Irony
    -Inference
    -Point of View
    -Plot
    -Protagonist
    -Resolution/Denouement
    -Rising Action
    -Setting
    -Status Quo
    -Symbolism
    -Theme
    -Tone
    -Flashback

    This could really help you, and you can discuss this novel creation idea here as well.
     
  2. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    This does help with 'decoding' a book even if for a greater understanding or at least appreciation of it. This is the same way of thinking with a lot of film students who deconstruct a film made from one of their favourite filmmakers and understand how it was made, but apart form learning all the necessary technicalities (that any student can master in a weekend) all this results in is knowing how that particular filmmaker made his film.

    But it's naive, if I'm reading your post correctly, to think you can take all of these 'ingredients', mix them together in a bowl and out pops a workable story.
    What you have here are deconstructed elements written as a list by writing scholars the likes of Joseph Campbell who they themselves have studied the formulas of writing method but do not necessarily have the skill needed to actually write a story themselves (most of the time this is correct - they haven't written anything other than a theoretical breakdown 'how to' book on writing because all they've done is simply studied from an outside technical point of view of what is in story).

    This will never work when trying to write an original piece of work that gells. There are forms to writing but if you stick to formula your work will only result in a cliched effort by using a picklist of attributes instead of something fresh and unique. As an example, not all stories will have foreshadowing, or an obvious antagonist or even a climax (in a lot of antiplot strories) where there is no resolution.

    What you have to think of with this list of attributes is that they are strictly incidental when in the creation process of a story i.e for some reasons beyond explicable subconscious creativity they just happened to work their way in when the writer was 'designing' the events and the characters and how both characters and plot (if there is one) are interwoven to convey the overall message of the story.
     
  3. Sapphire
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    Sapphire Senior Member

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    Hey, I'm only posting what I have learned. I know it's amateur, but it could work for writers that are just starting out who do not know how to do a character sketch yet. It is only used for the purpose of understanding your own story, what you want to be put inside of it and help work out the lose ends.
     
  4. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    :D lmao sorry mate that wasn't meant to come across as criticising. I wrote my response half asleep not long after waking up.
    This is the beauty of the net in not being able to communicate fact-to-face. Meaning can often be misconstrued (ironically, seeing as how we as writers deal with words as our field of expertise).
     
  5. zerobytes
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    zerobytes Contributing Member

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    Man, I should go back to High School. Great idea and suggestions. I'm keeping this list to review with my novels in the future. Thanks for the tip Sapphire. And thanks for always helping us to stay outside the box (on the rim of the coin) Max,

    zb
     
  6. Max Vantage
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    Max Vantage Banned

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    If you want to add to the list then may I suggest (in bold):

    Exposition.

    Period ('setting' is too vague a term and involves this and the next two elements) - the time that the story takes place i.e. in history, in the future, contemporary, etc.

    Duration - how long the story takes place. Is it a story that takes place in years, months, weeks, days or hours of the characters' lives?

    Location - where does the story take place?

    Structure - is it a closed ending story, a minimalist plot, or does it have no discernible or obvious storyline at all?

    And don't forget that granddaddy of all within story - deep structure.
    From the highest point before story - the ACT. Not just something within cinema or stage but in any story. The act is the largest element.

    The act is built upon a sequence.

    The sequence is constructed by scenes (or chapters, within prose. They're basically the same.)

    A scene is described as an event whereby a dramatic circumstance has disrupted the equilibrium in the life of your character thereby sending them on his/her/its proverbial journey as governed by your story. There is a profound difference in the nature of the event but every scene has (or should) have an event of some kind whether it be external, internal, psychological etc...I think you get the point.

    The single most infinite yet incredibly minute element of any story is the beat. If the beat is the minimum 'ingredient' then the story itself is the obvious and maximum result. If a scene does not have a beat that makes up the action/reaction of the plot or character motivation then it's fair to say that the scene needs to be cut out of your story or reworked as it serves absolutely no purpose and is only taking up valuable space.

    That's pretty much all I can think of right now for you to add to your essay. Hope it helps.
     

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