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Published byBranden Kelley Modified over 7 years ago
Elements of Plot
Plot (definition) Plot is the organized pattern or sequence of events that make up a story. Every plot is made up of a series of incidents that are related to one another.
Plot Diagram 2 1 3 4 5
1. Exposition This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters (esp. protagonist and antagonist) and their relationships are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).
2. Rising Action (Complications) This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.
Internal Conflict Definition: A struggle that takes place in a character's mind is called internal conflict.
Internal Conflict is … NOT visual or tangible opposition. IS a character dealing with his or her own mixed feelings or emotions.
Internal Conflict Subcategory Man vs. himself Internal conflict is often referred to as man vs. himself since the struggle is inside one’s head.
External Conflict Definition: A struggle between a character and an outside force is an external conflict.
Example of External Conflict Characters may face several types of outside forces. The outside force may be another character. It may be the character and the community. The outside force may also be forces of nature. For example, a story might be the main character struggling against the arctic cold.
Man vs. man An external conflict, mental or physical, between two characters in a story.
Man vs. Nature An external conflict that involves a struggle between the character and the elements of nature which are beyond his/her control.
Man vs. society An external conflict that involves the struggle between a character and the rules or laws that govern the society in which he/she lives
Man vs. machine A conflict that places a character against man-made items which may possess artificial intelligence. (could be superior to man)
3. Climax This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.
4. Falling Action The tension is over and the action slows down/ends completely.
5. Resolution (Denouement) All the loose ends are tied up. We see how things turn out for each character.
Types of Non-linear Elements Within the Plot 1. Flashback: an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronological order of a story.
2. Foreshadowing: the use of hints or clues in a story to suggest what action is to come.
3. Sub-plots: an additional or secondary plot in a story. It contains its own conflict which is often separate from the main conflict.
4. Parallel structures: Two or more major plots that occur within a story and usually intersect.
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