SHORT STORY ANALYSIS
Elements of the Technical Analysis
You can use these main sections as a guide for performing your analysis. Try
to put as much thought into each one as you can. It’s important to provide the
author with sincere and valuable information (even if your grammar sucks like
mine). These categories are taken right from the textbook “Narrative Design”.
Use the various analysises in the book as a reference as well.
b) Present Action
Point of View
12. Notes (your notes in general on specific items in the story)
Questions to Ask Yourself
You can use these questions as an aid when you are analyzing the shorts. I find
that having a list of questions is a great way to remind myself of what I am
supposed to be looking for. NOTE: It is also an EXCELLENT tool to use when you
are writing as well!
Explain the title. In what way is it suitable to the story?
What is the predominant element in the story – plot, theme, character, setting?
a) In one sentence, explain the plot.
Who is the single main character about. whom the story centres?
What sort of conflict confronts the leading character or characters?
How is the conflict resolved?
How does the author handle characterization?
a) by description?
b) conversation of the characters?
c) actions of the characters?
d) combination of these methods?
11. Who tells the story? What point of view is used?
12. Where does the primary action take place?
13. What is the time setting for the action? Period of history? Season? Time of day?
14. How much time does the story cover?
a) a few minutes?
b) a lifetime?
c) how long?
16. How does the story get started? What is the initial incident?
17. Briefly describe the rising action of the story.
18. What is the high point, or climax, of the story?
19. Discuss the falling action or close of the story.
20. Does this story create any special mood?
21. Is this story realistic or true to life? Explain your answers by giving examples.
22. Are the events or incidents of the plot presented in flashback or in chronological order?
24. What is the general theme of the story? What is the underlying theme? Can you name any other
stories with a similar theme?
25. Did you identify with any of the characters?
26. Does this story contain any of the following elements?
d) surprise ending ?
27. Was there a villain in the story? a hero? a dynamic character?
28. Can you find any examples of figurative language?
29. Does the story contain a single effect or impression for the read er? If so, what?
30. Name one major personality trait of each leading character, and tell how the author makes
the reader conscious of this trait.
31. Does the story have a moral? If not, what do you think the purpose of the author was?