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English 1 Vocabulary (Text Structure, Literary Devices – Complex Characters, Theme)

TEXT STRUCTURE
the way written work is organized for a certain cause and effect

PLOT
the storyline or series of events in a written piece

PARALLEL PLOT
The writer weaves two or more plots in the same story with a common character and a common theme.

NARRATIVE TENSION
writing strategies used to create suspense and keep the reader reading

PACING
how quickly or slowly the writer takes the reader through a text

FORSHADOWING
The writer gives hints about what will happen later in the story.

FLASHBACK
Writers interrupt the current storyline to insert past events; this is used to provide background information.

CONFLICT
a struggle between opposing forces – usually between a protagonist and antagonist; may be internal or external

CHARACTER INTERACTION
how characters behave in relation with each other

CHARACTER MOTIVATION
a reason that explains, or partially explains a character’s thoughts, feelings, actions or speech

COMPLEX CHARACTER
a character that is more than one-dimensional; changes attitudes and behaviors to suit different situations; usually develops throughout a story

STATIC CHARACTER
a character that usually possesses only one or two personality traits and stays the same throughout a story

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
a character who exhibits change and personal growth through the course of a story

THEME OR UNIVERSAL MEANING
the underlying message of a story, novel, play, or poem that can be applied to life; it’s usually subtle – not directly stated in the text

ANALYZE
looking at small parts to see how they affect the whole; in literature, focus on how plot/structure, character, setting, etc. create a theme or meaning of the text

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