Characters and Viewpoint - Chapters 5 and 6 Summary & Analysis

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Chapters 5 and 6 Summary and Analysis

"Constructing Characters—What kind of story are you telling?" This chapter begins with the author's contention that there are four basic factors common to all forms of narrative writing. The first is milieu, the physical, cultural and/or social context in which the narrative plays out. In some narratives, he suggests (westerns, science fiction, fantasy) milieu is the prime narrative element, but even in such stories, the other three basic elements are incorporated to a greater or lesser degree. Milieu is important, he contends, because it involves more than just physical setting. "The characters' own attitudes and expectations," he writes, "are part of the cultural ambiance, and their very strangeness and unfamiliarity is part of the readers' experience of the milieu." The second basic factor common to all stories is the idea, what the reader is intended to...

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