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July 8, 2013

Writing Lesson: Elements of a Fable

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Written by: Shari
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Injoy, Inc. Summer Writing Program;

Elements of a Fable

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And be sure to go back and read Lesson 1!

Now for the highlights of Lesson 2 (for the complete lesson, sign up with your email address to get the lessons emailed each Monday.)

How to Write a Fable: Lesson 2 Elements of a Fable

A fable contains all of the elements of a good story:

  1. interesting characters
  2. setting (time and place)
  3. plot
  4. conflict and resolution
  5. theme (or moral in a fable)

The characters or subjects in a fable can be inanimate objects like the grapes in Fox and Grapes from lesson 1, or the sun and wind of  North Wind and the Sun.

North Wind and the Sun

A dispute once arose between the wind and the sun over which was the stronger of the two. There seemed to be no way of settling the issue. But suddenly they saw a traveler coming down the road. “This is our chance,” said the sun, “to prove who is right. Whichever of us can make that man take off his coat shall be the stronger. And just to show you how sure I am, I’ll let you have the first chance.”

So the sun hid behind a cloud, and the wind blew an icy blast. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveler wrap his coat around him. At last the wind had to give up in disgust. Then the sun came out from behind the cloud and began to shine down upon the traveler with all his power. The traveler felt the sun’s genial warmth, and as he grew warmer and warmer he began to loosen his coat. Finally he was forced to take it off altogether and to sit down in the shade of a tree and fan himself. So the sun was right, after all!

Moral: Persuasion is better than force.

From Aesop’s Fables, Grosset & Dunlap

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About the Author

Shari Popejoy, wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, founder of a local co-op for hundreds of homeschool children, author of seven books, and creator of Won Without Words (a blog of encouragement for wives) lives in the quiet country of the Ozarks where she enjoys writing surrounded by nature (and her children, of course). She is currently completing Volume V of the Livingstone Library, an adventure series for 'smart' kids, which features characters with character, and underlying allegorical spiritual truths. She enjoys high places and the road less traveled, and moments when all is well, and peace permeates like a fragrance. . .oh, and chocolate, fresh fruit and veggies, and early morning sunrises. Read her blog at


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