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Narrative Structure!

Freytag's pyramid and its plot points; flashback and foreshadowing

K Burbank

on 13 May 2016

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Transcript of Narrative Structure!

This plot is no conspiracy!
Remember to draw your own pyramid and
write down what is most important (written in red)

1. Introduction! Also called the...
Whether you call it the Introduction or Exposition, the point is to:
Introduce information necessary to the story (like characters and setting)
2. Rising Action - introduce and build the conflict.
Example: The exposition of Toy Story included introducing the main characters, Woody and Buzz, and the setting, a world where toys come alive.
The rising action should be a series of events in which the conflict is getting more serious, obvious, dramatic
Example: In Toy Story, the first event leading to conflict is the fact that Andy is moving. Next, Andy gets Buzz, who Woody does not get along with. The third main event leading to the climax is Woody trying to get rid of Buzz and the two of them getting lost...and ending up at Sid's!
Freytag's Pyramid - a typical plot structure
The point in the story when the conflict is at its most dramatic. The climax is a turning point, something changes.
In happy stories, usually things take a turn for the better. In sad stories, things take a turn for the worse.
4. Falling Action...
The events right after the climax, leading to the resolution.
But why is half the pyramid falling action???
It's true that usually the climax of a story comes closer to the end, leaving less time for falling action. Why is that? Discuss...
Example: In Toy Story, the falling action only lasts a few minutes, with Woody and Buzz in a final push to reach the moving van. Their hopes are squashed momentarily but at this point we know they'll reach Andy.
5. Resolution or denouement (day-noo-mont)
Resolution or Denouement
The end of the story, when the conflict is resolved.
Sometimes the end may teach a lesson or moral.
Sometimes the end may be a cliffhanger.
In a sad story, the end may be a catastrophe for the character.
In a happy story, the conflict is resolved with the protagonist ("good guy") coming out the winner
Example: In Toy Story, Woody and Buzz make it back to Andy's, reunite with the toys, and are friends.
Example: Woody and Buzz barely escape Sid.
Other parts of narrative structure:

Flashback: a choice to insert an earlier event into the plot to provide more background information
Ex. In Toy Story 2, Jessie has a flash BACK to when her first owner loved her. This provides information about why Jessie does not like the idea of being someone's toy.
Foreshadowing: a choice to insert hints and clues about what is forthcoming in the story
Ex. In Toy Story, we see Sid destroying toys in the yard very early in the movie. It suggests that the toys might have a difficult time with him later on.
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