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PLOT – Key Notes Plot IS – the sequence of incidents or events through which an author constructs a story IS NOT the action itself, but the way the author.

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Presentation on theme: "PLOT – Key Notes Plot IS – the sequence of incidents or events through which an author constructs a story IS NOT the action itself, but the way the author."— Presentation transcript:

1 PLOT – Key Notes Plot IS – the sequence of incidents or events through which an author constructs a story IS NOT the action itself, but the way the author arranges the action toward a specific end Commercial author is MORE likely to use a tried-and-true, fairly conventional structure in arranging plot elements

2 PLOT – cont’d. For literary writers, a complex PLOT structure is often required to convey complex meanings The significance of the action is more important than the action itself Use of Conflict – is a clash of actions, ideas, desires, or wills Are 4 types of conflict: person vs. person; person vs. environment; person vs. himself; person vs. society – may be mental, physical, emotional or moral

3 PLOT – cont’d. Literary fiction utilizes ALL FOUR kinds of Conflict Commercial fiction emphasizes ONLY man vs. man conflicts PROTAGONIST - Central character in CONFLICT ANTAGONIST - Any force(s) arranged against the protagonist

4 PLOT – cont’d. Plot involves use of SUSPENSE – what happens next in story? In Literary fiction, SUSPENSE often involves not as much the question of What but Why things happen Two common devices used to create SUSPENSE – Mystery and Dilemma

5 PLOT – cont’d. Mystery – an unusual set of circumstances for which the reader craves explanation Dilemma – a position in which he or she must choose between two courses of action, both UNDESIRABLE

6 PLOT – cont’d. Suspense – usually most important criterion for good Commercial fiction In Literary fiction, Suspense is less important than OTHER ELEMENTS the author uses to engage readers Suspense is closely connected to element of SURPRISE

7 PLOT – cont’d. Surprise ending – sudden, unexpected turn or twist Commercial fiction tends to use surprise endings more frequently Two ways to judge the LEGITIMACY and VALUE of a surprise ending: –By the fairness with which it is achieved –By the purpose that it serves

8 PLOT – cont’d. Surprise endings are justified WHEN: –It serves to BROADEN or REINFORCE the meaning of the story –Other types of endings: happy; unhappy; indeterminate (ambiguous)

9 Artistic Unity Essential to a good plot There must be nothing in the story that is irrelevant; i.e., that does not contribute to the meaning There should be nothing there for its own sake (or just to add excitement)

10 Plot Manipulation Defined: When an author includes a turn in the plot that is unjustified by the situation or characters Ex. An unmotivated action Ex. If the plot relies too heavily on chance or coincidence to give a resolution to the story ‘Deus ex machina’ – god from machine

11 Chance and Coincidence Chance – the occurrence of an event that has no apparent cause in previous events or in predisposition of character Coincidence – the chance occurrence oftwo events that may have a peculiar correspondence or relation

12 Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the causal arrangement of events and actions within a story. Understanding Plot Structure

13 Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in Chronological order Flashback In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition

14 Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid- shaped. This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.

15 Aristotle’s Unified Plot The basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis.

16 Freytag’s Plot Structure Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a story’s plot.

17 Modified Plot Structure Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.

18 Plot Components Exposition: the start of the story, the situation before the action starts Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax Climax: the turning point, the most intense moment—either mentally or in action Falling Action: all of the action which follows the climax Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads

19 Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.

20 Types of Conflict Human vs Nature Human vs Society Human vs Self Internal Conflict Human vs Human Interpersonal Conflict

21 Final Thoughts Plot Analysis – the BEST approach is to consider the function of Plot in trying to understand the relationship of each incident to the larger meaning of the story In Literary fiction, Plot is important for what it reveals.

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