What Are the Seven Elements of Fiction?

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The seven elements of fiction include character, theme, plot, point of view, setting, conflict and tone. All of these elements are used to compile and write a fictional story or a piece of literature.

The first element, character, is often referred to as the primary individual or individuals portrayed within the story, also known as the protagonist or antagonist. Character also refers to the characteristics of the primary subject’s personality. Theme is defined as the moral of the story, or the overall purpose or lesson the writer is trying to convey to the reader. Plot refers to the sequence of events within the literary piece.

Most literary pieces develop the plot by providing background information to set up the piece with a complication set in place next. The plot often continues with a climax and a resolution. Writers use point of view to establish objectivity or subjectivity by using first, second or third person voices. The setting refers to the scene where the plot is taking place and is often one of the most descriptive elements of the literary composition. Conflict is the intense struggle within the characters, or as developed by the plot where a decision must be made. The tone of the piece shows the author’s or character’s attitude. For example, the tone may be angry, subdued or even satirical.