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Plot: Time and Sequence

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by

Becky Brown

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Plot: Time and Sequence

Plot: Time and Sequence
Hooking Your Curiosity
When we talk about stories,
plot
is the element to start with, for plot is story itself.
Plot is a series of related events, like links in a chain.
Each event hooks our curiosity and pulls us forward to the next event.
Conflict: The Fuel of Narrative
Conflict
In most stories, we care about what happens next because we're hooked by a
conflict
, or a struggle.
External Conflict
In an
external conflict
the struggle takes place between two characters, between a character and a group, or between a character and something nonhuman--a typhoon or a computer virus, for example.
Internal Conflict
An
internal conflict
takes place within a character's mind or heart: A desire to win someone's friendship might conflict with a fear of rejection, for example.
Exposition
The first part of a plot is called the basic situation, or
exposition
. This is the opening of the story, when the characters and their conflict are introduced.
Complication
The second part of a plot is the
complication
. Now the main character takes some action to resolve the conflict but meets with more problems or complications: danger, hostility, fear, or even a new threatening situation.
Climax
The third part of a story is the
climax
. This is the key scene in the story--that tense or exciting or terrifying moment when our emotional involvement is greatest. Now we learn what the outcome of the conflict is going to be.
The final part of the story is the
resolution
. The resolution occurs at the end of the story. Now all the struggles are over, and we know what is going to happen to the characters.
Resolution
Literary Devices
Most stories are told in
chronological order
, the order in which events unfold in real time. The writer starts at the beginning and tells about each event in the order it happens.
You have also read stories in which writers interrupt the flow of events to present an episode from the past. Such a scene is called a
flashback
.
Writers can also bring the future into the present by using
foreshadowing
,
hints or clues that suggest what is to come in the story. Foreshadowing can make a story more exciting by increasing suspense.
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