Elements of the novel
The essential elements of a novel are the following:
The characters are the ones who generate the story that is told in the novel, that is because they are the ones who carry out the actions and to whom the events or circumstances occur. However, they are also the ones who in many cases lead the story, because they can intervene as narrators.
On the other hand, the characters in a novel can be main or secondary, depending on their importance within the narrative, or also protagonist or antagonistic depending on their psychological characteristics, behavior and the actions they carry out.
Necessarily every novelistic character goes through a process of evolution and change that originates in relation to the history and the events that he experiences. The types of characters in a novel are briefly described below.
The main characters are the protagonists of the story, the actions, decisions and most outstanding events of the novel fall on them. In general, they are endowed with qualities that make them different from others and therefore attractive and interesting for the reading public.
The main characters in the novel Love in the Times of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez are: Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza.
In the Harry Potter saga , the main character is the wizard Harry Potter and the other main characters are Hermione Granger, Ron Wesley, Albus Dumbledore or Voldemort.
These characters are closely linked to the history of the main characters, many times their experiences influence the life and decision-making of the protagonists.
Continuing with the example of Love in the Times of Cholera, the secondary characters are: Juvenal Urbino, Lorenzo Daza, Tránsito Ariza, Lotario Tughut and Tía Escolástica.
In the case of Harry Potter, the secondary characters would be Sirius Black, Severus Snape, Minerva McGonagall or Draco Malfoy.
The filler characters of the aforementioned work by Gabriel García Márquez are: Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, América Vicuña, Olimpia Zuleta, Bérbara Lynch and the widow of Nazaret.
Some of the filler characters in the novel about magic and sorcery are Dobby, Lupine, the Dursley family or Neville Longbottom.
Actions or events
These elements are related to all the events and happenings that occur within the story. Generally, they are carried out by the characters who bring the narrative to life. Actions or events happen within a specific time and place.
The actions provide the novel with a narrative and evolutionary turn, by virtue of the fact that they generate problems and at the same time solve conflicts.
Fragment of Love in the time of cholera:
“He did not tell anyone that he was leaving, he did not say goodbye to anyone, with the iron secrecy with which he only revealed to his mother the secret of his repressed passion, but on the eve of the trip he consciously committed a last madness of the heart that it could well have cost him his life …
“… He put on his Sunday dress at midnight, and played alone under Fermina Daza’s balcony, the love waltz that he had composed for her, which only the two of them knew and which for three years was the emblem of their disgruntled complicity … ”.
Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:
“When he got to the corner he noticed the first indication that something strange was happening: a cat was looking at a map of the city.
Do not apologize, my dear sir, because today nothing can bother me! Rejoice, because You-Know-Who is finally gone! Even Muggles like you should celebrate this happy day!
Good thing it’s dark. I haven’t blushed so much since Madam Pomfrey told me she liked my new earmuffs.
These people will never understand Harry! He will be famous… a legend… I wouldn’t be surprised if today was known in the future as Harry Potter day! They will write books about Harry… every child in the world will know his name.
“Does it seem… sensible… to entrust Hagrid with something as important as that?”
“To Hagrid, I would trust my life,” said Dumbledore. “
Environment or place
Continuing with García Márquez’s novel, although it does not specify the name of a city or country, it refers to various historical events that allow us to locate the story in the first decades of the 20th century in Colombia.
In the case of Harry Potter, the saga takes place in the 90s of the 20th century in London and nearby regions, where the magical world of wizards is present.
This element of the novel refers to the duration of the story that is told, either in days, months or years. Time endows characters and events with constant change. This gives the narrative depth and complexity.
Fragment of Love in the time of cholera:
“They ended up getting to know each other so much, that before the thirty years of marriage they were like the same divided being, and they felt uncomfortable with the frequency with which they guessed the thought without intending it … Life had yet other mortal trials to bring them …”.
In the case of Harry Potter, being a saga in which its protagonist is a pre-adolescent of school age, the story is told from year to academic year during his stay at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Elements of the adventure novel
The elements of the adventure novel are as follows:
He is usually one and is taken as a hero because of the way he deals with circumstances.
In the adventure novel, the environment where the protagonist performs his actions is usually an extraordinary landscape or out of the ordinary.
The actions of the main character are characterized by feats that require physical effort and enhance the character’s abilities.
The plot within the adventure novel is more relevant than the psychological traits of the main character. This means that the way the story happens must be interesting and engaging enough to hold the reader’s attention.
Time tends to pass quickly and dynamically. The telling of the story takes place in hours or days.
Elements of the graphic novel
In the graphic novel, the story usually revolves around a single character, it is from him that the events and evolutionary changes of the narrative arise.
The atmosphere of the graphic novel is adjusted to the content of the story, that is, it can take place in a city, country, street, in an enclosed space or in a park. The colors of the design will be according to the author’s style.
The graphic novel is a story that is told in images, therefore the framing or adjustment must be applied so that they have a proportionate size. Framing is applied in the same way as in film and television, that is, by means of shots, be it a detail shot, close-up, general shot or a large close-up.
It refers to the dialogue boxes that simulate the conversation of the characters or the expressions of the narrator.
Onomatopoeia in graphic novels are the sounds or noises that occur within the story.
Elements of the horror novel
The characters in the horror novel have psychological characteristics that determine their actions. They are usually subjects taken from the paranormal world, zombies, vampires or ghosts.
The environment is characterized by being gloomy and scary. The actions almost always take place in abandoned spaces with a lack of aesthetics.
Suspense is an essential element in horror novels, because thanks to it the reader remains attentive to the narrative. It is present in prolonged times of silence or through the appearance of a mysterious character.
The horror novel does not exist without the mystery, this occurs when a character or event breaks with the tranquility of everyday life.
The time within horror novels is marked by the irruption of the paranormal element. Their presence usually lasts from the beginning to the end of the narrative. Similarly, the story can take place in the past, present or future.
Elements of the detective novel
It is usually represented by an investigator, journalist or police officer who is looking for clues to resolve some type of conflict or criminal act. The protagonist may have a right hand to help him find the suspect.
It is the main motivation of the story by virtue of the fact that it produces the actions that develop the narrative. At first it does not yield strong results, but makes the plot more interesting with each step that is taken to solve the case.
It is one of the main attractions of the detective novel because it generates the exchange of actions and ideas between the investigator and the investigated. The tension can be marked by murders, robberies, chases, arrests, interrogations or kidnappings.
The atmosphere of the crime novel presents an atmosphere of constant tension and suspense, since any indication puts the characters on alert. On the other hand, the actions can take place in any space or place, it is only necessary that there is a question or an aspect to investigate.