Top 10 Most Unique Literary Elements of a Story

All types of writing consist of literary elements—in some way. Literary elements in a story or literary elements in a poem, etc., are known to give your works of fiction and nonfiction that edge when being introduced in the market.

The phrase ‘literary elements’ is known to be the constituent parts of given literature in whatever state or form it is introduced, whether in drama, poetry, or prose.

Operations of Literary elements in a piece;

  • It is known to add some color to how you desire to address your words, which gets more readers interested in your piece.
  • It is known to guide your readers in a particular direction and make them understand the exact way you desire to address your message or word in the book.
  • It’s known to market more of your written pieces.

And there’s no need to fret about this writing technicality. Although the term ‘literary elements’ can be somewhat discouraging when having the first catch, they’re pretty simple.

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And for a fact, whether knowingly or unknowingly, you’ve been applying a lot of these literary elements in your book when writing—and you don’t even know it!

A-List of the Ten Literary Elements of a Story

literary elements

  1. Flashbacks
  2. Diction
  3. Personification
  4. Alliteration
  5. Tone
  6. Imagery
  7. Allusion
  8. Juxtaposition
  9. Simile/Metaphor
  10. Foreshadowing

Literary Elements; what is it?

Literary elements are the numerous ways applied when writing, which helps the writer express themselves and their ideas in a slightly more fun and exciting way than simply the familiar words written in detail on the page.

They are used to help a writer tell a story and keep your audience or readers stuck on each page—they can’t stop reading when you get them hooked, and heighten the level of emotion when it comes to certain areas of your story, which is very crucial for a successful story.

While the literary elements listed in the introduction are regular, you can apply so much more to make your writing piece stand out in the market.

Literary Elements List Explanation and Importance in the Writing

There’s no such thing as expertise in writing or maximum peak of learning; there’s always an avenue to learn something new regarding this skill or profession.

You might want to ask why doesn’t the writing profession have a full stop. Well, that’s because the more you get knowledge in writing, the more spectacular your writing ingredients will be.

PS: There’s no need to apply all literary elements in your book, but simply knowing what stuff to use at the right time is critical.

Let’s begin, shall we?

1.     Flashbacks:

Flashback in writing is a technique the author or narrator uses in their book to go back in time or to remember a particular scene or chapter that would add more highlight or context to the story or present setting.

Flashback can be used as a literary element in a story or poetry, but I’ve observed that it’s applied primarily to accounts.

We often see flashbacks in books in which the past is of high importance to the scene present in the story or sometimes used to begin a given level.

Most thriller stories use this technique to add some suspense and excitement for a start.

2.     Diction:

This type of literary element uses a kind of word or style in writing, which is done to send or pass across a given message as simple as it can get.

In simpler terms, this is a fancy way of saying that diction is a type of way the author desires to capture the interest of its readers.

These are Four Types of Diction

  1. Slang diction: When using slang, we know that this is for the younger readers who understand such language. This includes newly coined phrases or words. For example, “Hey, dude, what are you up to?”
  2. Formal diction: This is when the words or phrases used are more high class or standard. Most times, writers apply proper diction as a literary element when passing across a message to enlightened or more educated persons or higher degrees.
  3. Colloquial diction: This is when ordinary, everyday words are applied to pass across a message. And these may be varied, all depending on the religion or culture present in the writing piece.
  4. Informal Diction: When a writer is more interested in speaking directly with people who understand everyday people—this type of diction is used. It is known to be more conversational in character.

Read also, Climax of a Story Explained (Definition & Examples &Tips)

3.     Personification:

This is a literary element where human-like qualities are given to non-human-like grades.

This Literary element can be applied to stories and poems, and it’s useful for these reasons; Authors can give their readers or audience a new perspective on a typical visual occurrence, it’s known to create a stronger visual, it permits readers or an audience to have a unique view, it’s known to pull readers further into your idea or world, helps your audience or readers understand all the stuff going on in your piece, etc.

For instance, ‘…around the corner of the parking lot I had seen a shopping carriage with rusted irons like the brown soil of a prairie….”

4.     Alliteration:

This literary element applies the same sounds or letters at the beginning of words or phrases in a sentence or title. Various nursery rhymes are known to use alliteration, and this is also good in creating something mesmerizing and memorable with your writing piece.

Alliteration can be used when desiring to choose the best title for your book. It makes your literary piece easier to understand or even remember—for example, Vampire’s blood, Snow White, Gentlemen, Blonds, etc.

5.     Tone:

When applying Tone, it’s known to pass across the author’s attitude, opinion, or feelings about what is written or exemplified in the book.

The literary element is known to have the power to shape the whole narrative.

I love using tone because it can guide your audience right into the particular emotion you wish them to be, especially when it concerns a specific scene.

6.     Imagery:

This literary element is quite famous for stories and poems. Imagery is when you visually describe your character or a thing in your story. I’ll like you to think of it more like displaying the attributes of a character, especially in areas you use more sensory language against blunt phrases or words.

It’s advisable to use stronger verbs to give more distinct imagery when writing your story.

For instance, the others she’d seen were simply blank, names so forgotten to the speeding time.

7.     Allusion:

An allusion is a literary element known to reference a thing, place, event, or person in the real world sense. Writers apply this to give a distinct picture or even connect with your readers at certain times.

Read also, Plot of a Story – The 6 Elements of a Plot Explained

Allusions are known to use literary elements that help to connect your audience to your literary piece. So, when you reference particular stuff, the reader or audience would be familiar with real-world examples, which would be a good investment for you and your readers.

8.     Juxtaposition:

This simply means placing distinct or different elements next to one another to emphasize or expand one or both themes, scenes, etc. sometimes, this literary element sounds a bit unique in its way, but it’s pretty simple.

Most authors or writers apply this literary element to their stories or poems to create stronger emotional reactions from their audience. For example, I hate liking you so much.

9.     Simile/Metaphor:

This is known as the most famous literary element that has been used with caution, and that’s because if applied too much, it can make your work look low-standard or irritating to read.

Now, what do we understand by simile and metaphors? These are simply comparisons applied to create better clarity and understanding for your audience.

A simile compares two things that aren’t like and is known to replace the word or phrase with another, but applies ‘as’ or ‘like.’

A Metaphor compares two things that aren’t alike and is known to replace such words with another.

10.  Foreshadowing:

This literary element is when an author carefully places elements within writing that give various clues about the things or events in the future or later.

These are small bits of information that most readers do not pick up on the first read-through. Sometimes, they might look back and realize that certain elements were simply foreshadowing once the twist is revealed.

For example, in the movie Avengers, Tony Stark makes a short comment about one of the ship’s constructors playing a game called Galaga as they come together for the first time. The game’s goal, in reality, was to defend Earth from alien invaders, which is what happens much later in the film.


The more you gain in making and analyzing texts by applying these literary elements, the more pro you will become.

Much time invested in this area will reap eternal rewards for this skill. And you can use it to craft a text, especially in terms of how you desire to take your story or make it appear to your readers.

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Hi, I'm Benedict. The founder of Bennyselfpublishing Academy. A platform designed to teach people how to write and publish their books online and offline from the comfort of their homes. When I am not writing, I am outside playing football or watching my favorite team Chelsea play.

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