Literary Analytics

The moment of recognition

Analytic plot
A plot in which the main actions or events have happened before the narrative sets in, and in which the reader’s interest is mainly directed at finding out what has happened, rather than at what will happen

Main character who reacts to the protagonist

Main character without exceptional qualities

A situation in which one or more characters have mutually exclusive goals.

Dramatic irony
The effect of a contrast between what is expected and what happens, or between what characters know and what the reader knows.

Closure or completion of a story

Moment of sudden insight or understanding

First-person narrator
Storyteller who refers to him/herself with first-person pronouns “I”, “me”, “my”

Jump to an earlier fictional present

Protagonist or antagonist with exceptional qualities
Hero/ine (the opposite is the Villain)

Female protagonist or antagonist with exceptional qualities

Response to a piece of fiction by a reader who imagines him/herself in the role of a character while reading

Internal conflict
Situation in which one character has mutually exclusive goals

Appeal to the reader’s curiosity

Omniscient narrator
‘All-knowing’ narrator

Open ending
Ending without a sense of closure or completion

Turnaround or reversal

Sequence of actions or events linked to each other as cause and effect

Use of different perspectives in third-person narration

Non-metrical language

Main character whose actions move the plot forward
Protagonist (the opposite is the Antagonist)

Delay in satisfying the reader’s curiosity

Synthetic plot
Plot in which the reader’s interest is directed at finding out what will happen

Third-person narrator
Storyteller who reports the events of a story without talking about him/herself.

A surprise turn at the end of a story.

Unreliable narrator
A first-person narrator whose statements cannot be trusted.

Verbal irony
A way of making a statement by saying the exact opposite.

A character who is and does evil.

No Rhyme, No Reason

voice/character who speaks; also known as the narator

character who is spoken to/who listens

what the speaker says to the addressee

effect created through regular distribution of stressed and unstressed syllables

pause or break in the middle of a line

End-stopped line
line that completes a syntactic unit, mostly ending with a punctuation

Run-on line
line that contains part of a syntactic unit, to be completed in the following

identity of sound from the last stressed vowel, to the end of words or phrases

identity of sound at the beginning of words

identity of sound in the middle of words

something that stands for or points to something else

way of speaking about something as if it were something else

indirect way of referring to something by naming something else closely related to it, e.g. as container and content, or genus and species

fourteen-line poem in rhymed iambic pentameter

similarity between sound and meaning

element that occurs in many different texts

explicit comparison

poetic exaggeration

a way of talking about something non-human as if it were a person; also known as prosopopoeia

Literacy, Literally

Genre = a type or kind of literature.

Fiction = narrative prose literature.
Poetry = metrical literature.
Drama = representational literature.


Short story = written to be read at a single sitting.
Novella = written to be read in several sittings.
Novel = written to be read in multiple sittings.


Lyric poetry =  expresses thoughts or feelings.
Narrative poetry = the narrator is a storyteller.
Dramatic poetry = the narrator interacts with others.


Comedy = from disorder to order, ends happily.
Tragedy = from order to disorder, ending badly.
Tragicomedy = mixes tragedy and comedy.

lit-er-a-ture | [noun]
∎ Written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.
∎ Books and writings published on a particular subject.
∎ Leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice.

lit-er-ar-y | [adjective]
∎ Concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form.
∎∎ “Orwell’s are among the great literary works of the twentienth century”

lit-er-al | [adjective]
∎ Taking words in their usual or most basic sense without metaphor or exaggeration.
∎ (of a translation) representing the exact words of the original text.
∎∎ “A literal translation from the Arabic”
∎∎∎ synonyms: word-for-word, verbatim, line-for-line, letter-for-letter
∎ (of a person or performance) lacking imagination; prosaic.
∎∎ “his interpretation was rather too literal”
∎∎∎ synonyms: literal-minded, factual
∎∎∎∎ antonyms: whimsical


Poetic Modus Operandi

Some modes or types of poetic style… the full list is indefinite.

Argumentative mode
Speaker expresses an opinion or disagrees with another one

Confessional mode
Speaker expresses private or secret thoughts or emotions

Descriptive mode
Speaker details a scene, usually in the present tense

Dialogic mode
Two or more voices take turns in speaking

Didactic mode
Speaker informs or advises the addressee or addressees

Discursive mode
Speaker discusses a topic in the manner of an essay

Dramatic mode
Speaker interacts with others in a well-defined situation

Elegiac mode
Speaker regrets the loss of something or someone

Eulogic mode
Speaker praises something or someone

Expository mode
Speaker illustrates or explains something

Lyric mode
Speaker expresses thoughts or emotions

Narrative mode
Speaker tells a story, usually in the past tense

Persuasive mode
Speaker tries to convince the addressee or addressees

Polemic mode
Speaker criticises something or someone explicitly

Satiric mode
Speaker criticises something or someone implicitly


Literary Terminology:

flash-back | [noun]
∎ A scene in a film, novel, etc. set in a time earlier than the main story.
∎ “In a series of flashbacks, we follow the pair through their teenage years”


Flashback is a literary device wherein the author depicts the occurrence of specific events to the reader, which have taken place before the present time the narration is following, or events that have happened before the events that are currently unfolding in the story.

Flashback devices that are commonly used are past narratives by characters, depictions and references of dreams and memories and a sub device known as authorial sovereignty wherein the author directly chooses to refer to a past occurrence by bringing it up in a straightforward manner.

Flashback is used to create a background to the present situation, place or person.


Literary Terminology:

fore-shad-ow | [verb]
∎ Be a warning or indication of (a future event).
∎ “Other new measures are foreshadowed in the draft script.”

augur, presage, portend, foretell, indicate, suggest, signal, herald, forewarn, anticipate.


Foreshadowing is an advance sign or warning of what is to come in the future. The author of a mystery novel might use foreshadowing in an early chapter of her book to give readers an inkling of an impending murder.

WForeshadowing is used as a literary device to tease readers about plot turns that will occur later in the story. hen you want to let people know about an event that is yet to occur, you can use foreshadowing.

A fortune teller might use foreshadowing, warning that a short life line is a sign of some impending disaster.