Plot Plot is the sequence of events that make up a story. Every plot is made up of a series of incidents that are related to one another. In most novels, short stories, dramas, and narrative poems, the plot involves two basic elements – characters and conflict.
1. Exposition The plot usually begins with exposition, which establishes the setting, identifies the characters, and introduces the basic situation. Near the end of exposition, there is a complicating incident which introduces the central conflict.
2. Rising Action The development of the central conflict takes place during rising action. The rising action is the majority of any story; it is here that the author builds suspense.
3. Climax Eventually, the development of the central conflict reaches a high point of interest or suspense. This is the climax, or turning point of the story. Here the protagonist finally confronts the antagonist. The protagonist will likely change in some way as the result of this confrontation.
4. Falling Action The falling action immediately follows. All loose ends of the plot are tied up, and the confrontation between the main character and his or her antagonist comes to a quick conclusion.
5. Resolution Any events that occur during the falling action make up the resolution, or denouement.
Wait, there’s something missing… Some plots do not contain all of these parts. Short stories, for example, often do not include exposition and a denouement. Sometimes, too, the complicating incident in a short story or a novel has occurred before the opening of the story.
Plot All events that take place before the climax of a story make up its rising action. All events that take place after the climax make up the falling action.
Putting It All Together 1. Exposition 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action 5. Resolution Beginning of Story Middle of Story End of Story