Parts Of A Story

Parts of a story work together to create a complete narrative. Understanding the different parts of a story can help you become a better reader and writer. In this lesson, we will learn about the key parts of a story.


Every story has different parts that work together to create a complete narrative. Understanding these parts can help you become a better reader and writer. Below are the key parts of a story:

Types of Characters

  1. Protagonist: The main character around whom the story revolves. They face the central conflict and undergo significant growth or change.
  2. Antagonist: The character or force that opposes the protagonist, creating conflict. This can be a person, society, nature, or an internal struggle within the protagonist.
  3. Supporting Characters: Characters who help develop the plot and support the protagonist. They can be friends, family, mentors, or even adversaries.
  4. Dynamic Characters: Characters who undergo significant development or change throughout the story.
  5. Static Characters: Characters who remain the same throughout the story, providing consistency and stability.

Character Development

Character development is crucial for creating believable and relatable characters. It involves:

  • Backstory: The background information about a character that helps explain their motivations, desires, and actions.
  • Motivation: The reasons behind a character’s actions and decisions. This can be driven by their goals, fears, or desires.
  • Personality: The traits, behaviors, and quirks that make a character unique. This includes their strengths, weaknesses, and moral compass.
  • Relationships: The connections and interactions between characters that drive the plot and reveal different facets of their personalities.

Importance of Characters

  1. Driving the Plot: Characters’ actions and decisions propel the story forward. The plot is often shaped by their responses to conflicts and challenges.
  2. Creating Engagement: Well-developed characters captivate readers and evoke emotional responses. Readers invest in the characters’ journeys, rooting for their successes and feeling their failures.
  3. Exploring Themes: Characters often embody the themes of the story. Through their experiences and growth, themes like love, courage, betrayal, and redemption are explored.
  4. Relatability: Characters provide a lens through which readers can see themselves and the world. Relatable characters help readers connect with the story on a personal level.
  5. Conflict and Resolution: Characters are central to the story’s conflict and its resolution. Their struggles and triumphs create tension and drive the narrative to its climax and conclusion.


  • Harry Potter: As the protagonist, Harry faces external conflicts with Voldemort and internal struggles with his identity and destiny. His relationships with friends like Hermione and Ron, and mentors like Dumbledore, add depth to his character and the story.
  • Elizabeth Bennet: In “Pride and Prejudice,” Elizabeth’s intelligence, wit, and evolving perceptions drive the plot. Her dynamic relationship with Mr. Darcy explores themes of love, class, and personal growth.


The setting is where and when the story takes place. It includes various elements that shape the story’s environment and atmosphere:

Elements of Setting

  1. Location: The geographical place where the story happens. It could be a real place, such as New York City, or an imaginary one, like Middle-earth.
  2. Time Period: The era in which the story is set, such as the Victorian era, the future, or the present day.
  3. Time of Day: The specific time within a day, such as morning, afternoon, or night.
  4. Weather: The climatic conditions, which can influence the mood and tone of the story. For example, a stormy night can create a sense of tension or fear.
  5. Social Environment: The cultural, social, and political conditions that influence the characters’ lives and actions. This includes norms, values, and societal expectations.
  6. Physical Environment: The immediate surroundings, such as a room, forest, or city, including the details of these places.

Importance of Setting

  1. Establishes Mood and Atmosphere: The setting can create a specific mood or atmosphere that enhances the reader’s emotional experience. For example, a haunted house setting can create a feeling of suspense and fear.
  2. Influences Characters: The setting shapes the characters’ behaviors, decisions, and lifestyles. For example, a character living in a war zone will have different experiences and challenges compared to one living in a peaceful village.
  3. Supports Plot Development: The setting can be crucial to the plot, providing necessary context for events to unfold. For example, a story about survival on a deserted island relies heavily on its setting.
  4. Provides Symbolism: The setting can symbolize broader themes and ideas. For instance, a decaying mansion might symbolize the decline of a once-great family.
  5. Enhances Realism: A well-described setting helps the reader to visualize the story, making it more believable and immersive. Detailed settings allow readers to “see” the world in which the characters live.


  • “Harry Potter” Series: The magical setting of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is integral to the story. The castle’s various rooms, the Forbidden Forest, and the Quidditch pitch all contribute to the plot and the magical atmosphere.
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee: The setting of Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930s, is crucial to understanding the social dynamics and racial prejudices that influence the characters’ actions and the story’s events.


The plot is the sequence of events that make up the story. It is the backbone of the narrative, providing structure and direction. The plot includes several key elements:

  1. Exposition: This is the beginning of the story where characters, setting, and the main conflict are introduced. It sets the stage for the action to unfold and provides the necessary background information.
  2. Rising Action: This section develops the story’s conflict through a series of events and complications. It builds tension and suspense, leading to the climax. The rising action is crucial as it engages the reader, deepens character development, and sets up the story’s central conflict.
  3. Climax: The climax is the turning point and the moment of greatest tension in the story. It is where the main conflict reaches its peak and the outcome becomes clear. The climax is essential as it provides a pivotal moment that shapes the direction of the story.
  4. Falling Action: After the climax, the falling action resolves the remaining issues and begins to tie up loose ends. It shows the aftermath of the climax and leads the story toward its conclusion.
  5. Resolution: The resolution, also known as the denouement, is where the story’s conflicts are resolved, and the narrative comes to a satisfying conclusion. It provides closure and can leave the reader with a sense of completion or anticipation for future developments.

Importance of Plot

The plot is fundamental to a story for several reasons:

  • Structure and Organization: The plot provides a framework that organizes events in a coherent and logical sequence, making the story easier to follow and understand.
  • Engagement and Interest: A well-crafted plot keeps readers engaged by building suspense and anticipation. It motivates them to continue reading to see how the conflicts are resolved.
  • Character Development: The plot drives character development by placing characters in challenging situations that reveal their personalities, motivations, and growth.
  • Theme and Message: Through the plot, authors can explore and communicate the story’s themes and messages. The events and conflicts in the plot often illustrate the underlying ideas and lessons of the story.
  • Emotional Impact: The progression of the plot, especially the climax and resolution, creates emotional responses in readers. A compelling plot can evoke a wide range of emotions, from excitement and joy to tension and sadness.

The plot is the essential element that shapes the overall narrative, provides structure, engages readers, and conveys the story’s themes and emotions.


The theme is the underlying message, central idea, or insight into life that the author wants to convey through the story. It often reflects the author’s perspective on human nature, society, or life in general. While the plot provides the structure, and characters drive the action, the theme gives the story its deeper meaning.

Examples of Themes

  • Love: The complexities of romantic relationships and love’s transformative power.
  • Good vs. Evil: The struggle between opposing forces and moral choices.
  • Courage and Perseverance: Overcoming obstacles and facing fears.
  • Identity: The journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
  • Social Issues: Commentary on societal problems such as inequality, prejudice, and injustice.

The Role of Theme

  1. Guiding the Story: The theme acts as a compass for the narrative, guiding the direction of the plot and the actions of the characters. It ensures that all story elements are cohesive and contribute to the overall message.
  2. Creating Depth: A well-developed theme adds layers of meaning to the story, encouraging readers to think critically and reflect on the underlying issues and ideas.
  3. Engaging the Reader: Themes resonate with readers on an emotional level, making the story more relatable and impactful. They can evoke empathy, provoke thought, and inspire change.
  4. Connecting with the Audience: Universal themes allow readers from diverse backgrounds to connect with the story, as they touch upon common human experiences and emotions.

Point of View

Point of view (POV) refers to the perspective from which the story is told. It shapes the reader’s perception and understanding of the story. The main types of POV are:

First-person POV

In first-person POV, the narrator is a character in the story, using “I” or “we” to tell the story. This POV provides direct insight into the narrator’s thoughts and feelings, creating a close and personal connection with the reader. It can also limit the perspective to what the narrator knows or experiences.

Second-person POV

Second-person POV addresses the reader directly using “you,” making the reader feel as though they are part of the story. This POV is less common and can create a unique and immersive experience, often used in choose-your-own-adventure books and some experimental literature.

Third-person POV

In the third-person POV, the narrator is outside the story and uses “he,” “she,” or “they” to describe characters. This POV can be further divided into:

  • Third-person limited: The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of one character, providing a focused perspective.
  • Third-person omniscient: The narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all characters, offering a more comprehensive view of the story.

Importance of Point of View

The choice of POV significantly impacts the reader’s experience and the way the story is perceived. Here are some key reasons why POV is important:

  1. Character Insight: Different POVs provide varying levels of access to characters’ inner thoughts and emotions, influencing how readers understand and empathize with them.
  2. Narrative Depth: POV shapes the depth of the narrative. For example, an omniscient narrator can provide a broad understanding of the story world, while a first-person narrator offers a deep, personal perspective.
  3. Reader Engagement: The chosen POV can affect how engaged readers feel with the story. A first-person POV might create a stronger emotional connection, while a third-person omniscient can build a more complex narrative.
  4. Plot Development: POV can control the flow of information, creating suspense or dramatic irony. A limited POV might withhold information that an omniscient POV would reveal.
  5. Voice and Style: The narrative voice and style are influenced by the POV, contributing to the overall tone and mood of the story.


Conflict is the challenge or problem that the characters must face and overcome. It is a central element of the plot and drives the story forward by creating tension and drama. Conflicts can be internal or external.

Types of Conflict

  1. Internal Conflict (Man vs. Self): A struggle within a character’s mind. This could involve emotions, fears, desires, or a moral dilemma.
  2. External Conflict: This involves a character facing off against an outside force.
    • Man vs. Man: A struggle between two characters.
    • Man vs. Nature: A struggle between a character and natural forces like weather, animals, or disease.
    • Man vs. Society: A struggle between a character and societal norms, laws, or beliefs.
    • Man vs. Technology: A struggle between a character and technological forces or advancements.
    • Man vs. Supernatural: A struggle between a character and otherworldly forces or beings.

Importance of Conflict

Conflict is essential to a story for several reasons:

  1. Driving the Plot: Conflict propels the story forward, creating momentum and a sense of direction. It generates the narrative’s central action and keeps readers engaged.
  2. Developing Characters: Through conflict, characters are tested and revealed. Their responses to challenges showcase their personalities, values, and growth.
  3. Creating Tension and Suspense: Conflict introduces uncertainty and suspense, making readers eager to see how the story will unfold and be resolved.
  4. Highlighting Themes: Conflict often underscores the story’s themes by illustrating the struggles that align with the broader message or moral.
  5. Engaging the Audience: A story without conflict lacks excitement and emotional investment. Conflict captivates readers, drawing them into the characters’ struggles and victories.


The resolution is the ending where the conflict is resolved, and loose ends are tied up. It provides closure and can be happy, sad, or open-ended.

Importance of Resolution

The resolution is a crucial part of any story for several reasons:

  1. Conflict Resolution: It resolves the central conflict of the story, providing a sense of completion. Without resolution, the story would feel unfinished and leave readers unsatisfied.
  2. Character Development: It often showcases the final stage of a character’s development. The choices characters make in the resolution can reveal their growth or change over the course of the story.
  3. Emotional Impact: A well-crafted resolution can evoke strong emotions, leaving a lasting impression on the reader. Whether it’s a feeling of joy, sadness, or contemplation, the resolution shapes the reader’s final emotional response to the story.
  4. Thematic Closure: It reinforces the story’s theme. By resolving the plot in a way that highlights the central message, the resolution helps convey the author’s intended lesson or moral.
  5. Satisfying End: A good resolution provides a sense of closure. It ties up loose ends and ensures that all significant plot points are addressed, giving the reader a complete and satisfying experience.

The key parts of a story include characters, setting, plot, theme, point of view, conflict, and resolution. The resolution is particularly important as it resolves the central conflict, showcases character development, evokes strong emotions, reinforces the theme, and provides a satisfying end. Activities such as group analysis can help students identify and understand these elements better.

Literary Devices