Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Story Definition

What is a story?

The narration of a fictional story that may or may not be based on real-life events is referred to as a story that can be expressed verbally or in writing. The phrase "story" is derived from Latin and means "to tell."

Story Definition

The narrative genre of the story includes subgenres like science fiction, adventure, fantasy, and horror, among others. Other narrative genres include the novel and chronicle, and its shorter duration sets it apart from the novel.

It is a fantastic teaching strategy, and a priceless educational tool since the story enables readers at any stage of life-particularly those in their formative years-to develop their oral communication skills and increase their vocabulary.

Characteristics of the story

The following stand out among a story's essential qualities:

  • The first, second, or third person might be used to narrate it.
  • Unlike a novel, it is a short story with a basic storyline and few characters.
  • It follows the same format as a novel, with an introduction, middle, and conclusion.
  • Quickly evoke emotions in the reader or listener.
  • There are several themes or subgenres that it can cover, including fantasy, children's, police, realistic, comedy, horror, fairy, and mystery, among others.

Categories of Stories

There are two main categories of stories, with each having a corresponding subgenre:

  1. Folk tales: Folk tales are stories passed down through the years and are now presented with modifications to the actual story. Since the stories were originally told orally and there were no records of who wrote them, the writers of many of them remain unknown. Fables, myths, and legends are a few types of folk stories.
  2. The literary stories: The literary stories are comprised of well-written storylines with a clear purpose. They result from the author's careful effort who can craft an account with a certain tone that evokes feelings in a particular audience. For instance, a story for youngsters is different from one for adults.

The Story's Structure

There are several narrative endings, including open, sad, and joyful.

A story is defined by adhering to the following format.

  1. Introduction: Provide a brief overview of the characters and the environment. Also, how the story will be delivered and the proof used (if respects the timeline or occurs timelessly).
  2. Development or knot: With the progression of conflicts and the character's action sequences, development or knot describes the story's overall storyline.
  3. Denouement or end: It refers to how conflicts and events that occur throughout development are resolved, and it may be interpreted in various ways, such as an open, tragic, or joyful ending.

Story Elements

Every story contains a few key components

  1. Characters: They might be humans, animals, or objects, among others, and they are the ones that perform the actions in the story. They may also be classified as primary (those on whom the story centers), secondary (those who appear often), or tertiary characters (a minor who appears once or very few times).
  2. The narrator: He is the one who tells the story and provides all of its facts. There are several ways to present the narrative, either in the first person or from an omniscient viewpoint (who knows every detail of what happened and narrates it objectively).
  3. The actions: The events that each character participates in are called actions. These often take place at a certain time and location and give rise to the tale, from the complications to the revelation of the plot.
  4. The atmosphere: The environment that history adopts is known as the atmosphere, and it might be one of tension, pleasure, dread, or familiarity, among other things. It has to do with the activities' setting and the feelings they could arouse in the reader.
  5. The time: The duration of the story, which might be only a few hours, days, or years, is the time component. Also, the passage of time modifies or affects the characters' responsibilities.

What Are a Story's 7 Literary Elements?

A story is made up of seven fundamental components that all operate together. As they are all essential, there is no specific hierarchy of significance. You could begin with one and build the others later while creating a story. For example, you could develop a character before you have a storyline or a location.

There is no ideal spot to begin; you have a story as long as all seven elements are included by the end.


Characters are essential to every story. Your main character, often known as your protagonist, is the one who interacts most frequently with the story and the conflict. There might be more than one protagonist or subsidiary protagonist, and an antagonist seeks to disrupt the objectives of your main character.

There are few plays and short stories with only one character, but most works contain a cast of several. Your major characters should all be well-developed and have a story arc, but lesser characters don't always need to be.

You are not required to use human or humanoid characters. Characters may also be animals or supernatural elements!


There must be a location for your story. Setting refers to the story's time period, place, and circumstances. Although some stories only have one setting, others have multiple.

There could be a main setting and several supporting settings in a story. For example, England is the location for Pride and Prejudice, and individual houses and estates, such as Netherfield Park and Pemberley, make up the smaller settings in the story.


Our subsequent story component is the theme. The theme could be viewed as the purpose behind the story. What is the main concept? What message is the author attempting to communicate, and why did they create the story?

The following are some popular story themes:

  • Good and evil
  • Coming of age
  • Love
  • Courage
  • Redemption

Themes may also serve as warnings of the risks of getting even or the consequences of conflict. Social criticisms of class, racism, gender, or religion may sometimes be found in themes.


The tone may be the most difficult of the story's components. The tone of your story refers to its overall sentiment. A mystery might be dangerous. A story from women's literature could make you feel nostalgic. A cheerful, romantic tone could be present in a relationship.

The tone should be appropriate for your genre and particular topic. Word choice, phrase length, and sentence variation are all writing components that can be used to establish a tone. The tone could also be changed by setting elements like the weather.

Point of view

Every story requires a point of view (POV), which establishes whether a scene is being presented from the perspective of the storyteller or a character. Regarding literature and creative writing, there are four primary points of view.

First-person narration presents the story from the perspective of a particular character (I, me, my, mine, we, our, ours). The primary character's viewpoints are not required for the POV. For instance, Nick, the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, mostly participates in and observes the story of Gatsby and Daisy.

Third-person limited can also be used to tell a story via the perspective of a single character. Third-person pronouns are used in this point of view (he, him, his, her, hers, their, theirs). Third-person limited only displays one character's viewpoint at a time if your story has many characters with different points of view.

Deep POV is a term that is occasionally used to describe first-person and third-person limited points of view.

The POV is often the third-person if the tale is presented from the narrator's viewpoint. When the narrator sees and knows everything, they are omniscient.

Stories are never written in the second person (you, yours). Compared to novellas and novels, short stories use this point of view more frequently. More commonly than conventional creative writing, the second person is used in fanfiction and choose-your-own-adventure tales.


The issue that moves the storyline of a story forward is conflict. The conflict causes your characters' failure to accomplish their objectives. The character has to face certain internal struggles due to internal tensions and must also deal with outside challenges.

In literature, there are seven main categories of conflict. As follows:

  • Man vs. man
  • Nature vs. man
  • Man and society
  • Man vs. supernatural
  • Man vs. technology
  • Man and fate
  • Man versus self

A story often has several minor and major, overarching internal or external conflicts. Although every component of a story is important, conflict is the one that gives your story its appeal and intrigue.


Lastly, a story cannot exist without a plot. The events in a tale are referred to as the plot, which is the start, middle, and finish. Confusion between conflict and plot is common.

Conflict gets in the way of various characters' objectives, while the plot is what happens. They are closely linked.

One of the seven components of a story is the plot; however, there are several types of plot.

What Are the Five Components of a Plot?

From a short story to a novel, all works of literature need the fundamental components of a story and the same crucial elements of a plot. All plots have the same features, despite different forms of plot structure (such as the hero's journey, three-act structure, and five-act structure). They work as a unit to tell a story.

The five main plot elements:


The scene is established via exposition. We first meet our main characters and learn about their lives at the story's beginning. Furthermore, it sets the stage and the mood.

Rising Action

The inciting incident results from the exposition, and the increasing action begins here. This section of the story contains the activities that led to the resolution of every plot point, including most of the conflict.


A story's climax is its peak. The fundamental struggle is eventually tackled by the character, who typically wins. With the growing action, tension rises to a height at the climax.

Stories might have multiple climaxes depending on the story structure or whether there are two distinct characters.

falling action

All other conflicts or character arcs start to conclude the falling action. The falling action will cover whatever wasn't covered in the climax. Just because the characters have overcome the most challenging portion of the story doesn't imply that everything has been wrapped up nicely. Sometimes the climax creates new conflicts!

Denouement or Resolution

The resolution or outcome of a story is its end. Each significant issue is resolved or left unresolved to allow for a cliffhanger or sequel. The happily ever after is found here in many stories, but a resolution doesn't have to be joyful. All questions are solved or are purposefully left unresolved since it is the conclusion of a story arc or plot.

Summary: Fundamental Story Elements

A unified and comprehensive story arc is created by combining the five plot components and the seven aspects of a story. No detail is more significant than any other. Planning the fundamental plot ideas and story parts is an excellent place to start your outline if you're creating your own story.

Next TopicSuccess Definition

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA