How to Understand the Plot
Plot refers to the events of the story or the series of actions that make up the story are referred to as the plot. Basically, the plot is what happens in the story.
Three important ways to understand the Plot:
A: Parts of the Plot.
Traditionally, it is divided into five parts.
1. Introduction: The reader meets the characters and discovers the setting. Reader interest is aroused here. The conflict that drives the story’s action is discovered at the end of the introduction, with the initiating incident.
2. Rising action: Builds up the story (the longest part)— a series of steps that lead to the climax. You get more information about conflict and character here.
3. Climax: Here, the reader finds out what happens to the conflict, or how the conflict might be resolved. The story may not yet be finished, but the reader now has a good understanding of what way it is going to go.
4. Falling Action: The plot begins to wrap up in this section of the story, which is usually brief.
5. Denouement/Conclusion/Resolution: This part follows quickly after the climax and provides the last pieces of information for the reader. “Denouement” is French for “unknotting”; you may therefore think of denouement as the “unknotting” or “untangling” of the plot. Other words for denouement are conclusion or resolution (think about it as the resolution of the climax). However, not all conclusions provide resolution.
B: Five Types of Conclusions/Resolutions.
There are five types of conclusions and they have a variety of names:
1. Expository Happy: All loose ends are tied up and explained and the ending is happy.
2. Expository Sad: All loose ends are tied up and explained and the ending is sad.
3. Surprise or Twist: Something happens that the reader does not expect at all.
4. Unresolved/Indeterminate/Cliffhanger: The reader is left with questions and has to, in part, supply the ending him or herself. Some loose ends are left to dangle.
5. Anti-Climax: A dull or disappointing ending to something after increasing excitement. For example: After the weeks of preparation, the concert itself was a bit of an anticlimax. In connection to a story or novel, it means an ending that doesn’t measure up to the plot events that precede it (the ending is anti-climactic).
C: Plot Diagram:
This is also known as Freytag’s Pyramid, the story diagram or plot diagram, was invented in 1864 by Gustav Freytag to visually represent the five plot parts and their relationship with one another. Modern stories may or may not tidily fit Freytag’s Pyramid. This diagram was invented to purposely explain the plot in more detailed manner. Here is a diagram for more details:
12th August 2016
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