There are certain aspects of stories that are found in most literature. These are known as the common characteristics. These characteristics are what make up the backbone of any story. The following represent the common characteristics of any story: Characters, which are the people who are active within the story; a Plot, also known as a storyline, which presents a conflict or issue, as well as a resolution to said conflict or issue; and a Setting, which is the time and location in which the story develops.
Common Characteristics in Literature
There’s some common characteristics that are found in all genres of literary text. One of those is characters, there’s going to be characters in every story. The characters are the people who do the action in the story. Basically, when I said there’s common characteristics found in all genres of literary text,
I could have also said there’s common aspects, or common parts, to every story. In every story you’re going to have characters, you’re going to have a plot, and you are going to have a setting. The plot is basically the story line. It’s what happens in the story, so in pretty much every plot you’re going to have conflict or problem.
After that, you’re going to have a resolution to that conflict or problem. In other words, that conflict or problem is going to be resolved—during the story there’s this issue, by the end of the story that issue is gone. The third common characteristic is setting, which is the time and place where the story takes place.
Say there was a book written about Plymouth Colony, then the time would be during the 1600s, and the place would be in North America, which you could be more specific and say it’s in modern-day Massachusetts. That’s the time and place. Sometimes it’s more specific, about a certain city, or a certain place within a city (then just the time period).
There’s going to be a setting to the story, and the author, oftentimes, is going to make that pretty clear, and that helps you understand the story, helps you understand the way those people are talking, or helps you understand their actions, or the social customs. Those three common characteristics are characters, plot, and setting.
You’re going to find characters, plot, and setting in pretty much every story. Of course, every story is going to have a different plot, stories are going to have a different setting, stories are going to have different characters. In pretty much every story you have the main character, which is the protagonist, and then sometimes you have a person that’s against that main character, called the antagonist, then you’re going to have other characters.
Sometimes the plot has multiple conflicts or problems, sometimes there’s only one. Sometimes a story may have multiple settings, but no matter what, the point here is that every story is going to have a character, a plot, or a setting. That’s going to be true whether this is historical fiction or just a fable. Those are some common characteristics in literature.
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