In fiction, the plot is a sequence of interrelated events arranged to form a logical pattern and achieve an intended effect.[1] Along with character, setting, theme, and style, plot is considered one of the fundamental components of fiction.[2] Aristotle wrote in Poetics that mythos (plot) is the most important element of storytelling.

Plot structure Edit

Plot is often designed with a narrative structure, storyline or story arc, that includes exposition, conflict, rising action and climax, followed by a falling action and a dénouement. The term storyline also refers to the plot or subplot of a story.

File:Freytags pyramid.svg

Conflict Edit

Main article: Conflict (narrative)

Conflict is actual or perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. A conflict may be internal (within oneself) or external (between two or more individuals). It may also be both internal and external.

Rising action Edit

Main article: Rising action

The rising action in a work of fiction builds suspense and leads to the climax.

Climax Edit

The high point, a moment most intense, a turning point, a major culmination of events.

Falling action Edit

Main article: Falling action

The falling action is the part of a story following the climax and shows the effects of the climax. It leads up to the dénouement (or catastrophe).[3]

Dénouement (Resolution) Edit

Main article: Dénouement

Etymologically, the French word dénouement is derived from the Old French word denoer, "to untie", and from nodus, Latin for "knot". In fiction, a dénouement consists of a series of events that follow the climax, and thus serves as the conclusion of the story. Conflicts are resolved, creating normality for the characters and a sense of catharsis, or release of tension and anxiety, for the reader. Simply put, dénouement is the unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot.

Plot devices Edit

Main article: Plot device

A plot device is a literary technique used by authors to create a desired effect in storytelling.

Plot outlinesEdit

A plot outline is a prose telling of a story to be turned into a screenplay. Sometimes called a one page (one page synopsis, about 1 - 3 pages). It is generally longer and more detailed than a standard synopsis (1 - 2 paragraphs), but shorter and less detailed than a treatment or a step outline. There are different ways to do these outlines and they vary in length.

In comics, an outline—often pluralised as outlines--refers to a stage in the development where the story has been broken down very loosely in a style similar to storyboarding in film development.

The pencils will be very loose (i.e., the sketch rough), the main aim being to lay out the flow of panels across a page, ensure the story successfully builds suspense and to work out points of view, camera angles and character positions within panels. This can also be referred to as a plot outline or a layout.

Notes Edit

  1. Polking, 1990, p.328-9.
  2. Obstfeld, 2002, p.1,65,115,171.
  3. Greenville College (2006). Plot A: The Pattern of the Action

References Edit

  • Obstfeld, Raymond (2002). Fiction First Aid: Instant Remedies for Novels, Stories and Scripts. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. ISBN 158297117x. 
  • <cite id = Polking>Polking, K (1990). Writing A to Z. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. ISBN 0898794358. 

See also Edit

External links Edit

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