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Exploring Plot

  • The definition of Plot, from Wikipedia is:

    Plot is a literary term defined as the events that make up a story, particularly as they relate to one another in a pattern, in a sequence, through cause and effect, how the reader views the story, or simply by coincidence. One is generally interested in how well this pattern of events accomplishes some artistic or emotional effect. An intricate, complicated plot is called an imbroglio, but even the simplest statements of plot may include multiple inferences, as in traditional ballads.


    There are five basic elements of Plot:

    1. Exposition - The beginning of the story where characters and settings are established. This is where you grab the reader and get them emotionally involved with the character.

    2. Rising action - This is the series of events that begin right after the exposition of the story and build up to the climax. This is very important to the story since the plot depends on it to set up the climax. It is here that you can lose the reader if the action is weak or doesn't flow with the story.

    3. Climax or Crisis - This is the high point of interest and the turning point of the story. Things unfold from this point, good or bad, for the protagonist and the reader wants to read on to see the outcome.

    4. Falling action - This is where the story starts to wind down, leading to the resolution. You can't drop off here. It's important to lead to an ending for your reader so they aren't left hanging. This part of the story shows the results of the actions the protagonist took in the climax and leads to the resolution. It can also contain a final act of suspense which is resolved in the final chapter.

    5. Resolution also called dénouement, which is French for "to untie" or "unraveling", is the conclusion of the story. Make it a strong ending for your reader as there's nothing worse than being involved in a story and then having an ending that is weak or unfinished. This is where you tie up any loose ends, resolve the conflict and give the reader satisfying closure for the journey they've taken with your story.

    Your exercise is to write a list of up to 5 of your favorite books/stories and a short paragraph describing the plot. What do you find most memorable about it? Can you see the 5 plot elements?

    This exercise will help you see how your favorite authors tackle plot and help you with your own stories.

    Write your Plot blog here and for the title please put something that lets readers know it's for this exercise. You can even link this exercise in the article. If you would, please use the hashtag #exploringplot at the end of your article so it's easier for people to find also.