The basic elements of a story or novel are:
1. Setting: The first important element of a short
story is the Setting. The setting refers to the time and place that
the event(s) in the story take place.
2. Conflict: The conflict or complication refers
to the tension, the fight or the struggle between the various
characters or forces in the story. It actually is what gives fuel
to the story and influences its flow (i.e. its plot). Without the
conflict, then you have no story. It's that important!
3. Character: The character element is the person
or people in a story. Sometimes the characters are not human, but
may be animals or spirits. Even when non-human characters are used,
they tend to have human characteristics. Characters are usually of
two types: the protagonist and the antagonist.
The protagonist is the main character. He or she is in conflict
with another character known as the antagonist. An example of a
protagonist and an antagonist are Superman, the protagonist, and
Lex Luthor, the antagonist.
4. Theme: This element refers to the topic that
the writer writes or comments on in his or her writing. The theme
is the motif of the story, that is, it permeates the whole story
and recurs throughout the narrative. An example of a theme is the
topic of "bravery" in Harry Potter.
5. Plot: The plot refers to
the flow of events in the story. Essentially, the plot refers to
what is happening in the story.
6. Climax: The climax is the most exciting part of
a story. It is when the conflict is about to or is getting
7. Dialogue: Not all stories have dialogue, but it
is an important element of most of them. Dialogue is a conversation
between the characters. Generally, stories will be primarily
composed of narrative, and will have dialogue interspersed within
the narrative For example: Sally had always loved Bill. She looked
at him and smiled, "Hi Bill." "Hi Sally," he replied. The first two
lines are narrative, and the part within quotations is dialogue.
Plot and setting, characters and dialogue, mood, style, tone.