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Plot Structure - Writing A Narrative

Are all stories the same?
by

Sarah Noyes

on 9 November 2015

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Transcript of Plot Structure - Writing A Narrative


Narrative Writing 101
The Elements
The Exposition
Background Information

Characters
Setting
Element #3
Element #2

Time
Place
Ex: Modern Day
Ex: London
Inciting Incident
The "BUT"
Man vs. Self
Conflict
The Rising Action
The "SO" - Where Things Start to Get Messy
The events that set up the story and build to the climax.
Climax
The Turning point
The moment where the protagonist and the conflict are face to face.
The BIG "Uh-Oh"
Falling Action
Denouement
There are usually many small ups and downs, but they always push the story and its characters towards the conflict.
Plot
The series of causally related events that propel a story forward, usually towards some artistic or emotional end.


Often the most important/exciting part.
Resolution
The Fallout
This is the place in the story where the characters begin to establish and accept a "new normal", or where characters come to terms with the outcome of the conflict. Often, this is the place where readers reflect on how far the protagonist has come.
Ties up the loose ends.
And they lived happily ever after....or something.
1
2
3
4
5
6
Man vs. Man
Man vs. Society
Man vs. Nature
What is your favorite plot?
Man vs. Supernatural
Element #1:
Plot is an important narrative element because it contains all of the other elements within it. Think of plot as the river that all of the other elements live and move in.

While there are many different ways to construct a plot, most narratives follow a traditional plot structure that looks like...


Flat
or
Static
Round
or
Dynamic
Static (or flat) characters do not change. Their personality is consistent, and all of his/her actions stay true to that personality throughout the story.

In The Lion King, Scar is a static character. He is evil and self-serving in the beginning, and he keeps those traits until his firey demise.


Can you name 3 other static characters?
Element #4
Man vs. Technology
Can you think of any examples?
This is typically the place where Element #5 (Theme) and Element #6 (Literary Devices) begin to really saturate the narrative.
Theme
Literary Techniques
POV
Element #4:The Resurgence
The Conflict Comes Center Stage
Theme is a common thread or repeated idea within a story. Generally speaking, themes show the author’s stance on complex topics like love, family, truth, morality, etc.

Literary Techniques are words or phrases within the text that authors use to increase the artistry of their story, and/or to help readers gain a greater understanding of the theme. Some literary techniques include: metaphor, simile, alliteration, hyperbole, allegory, etc.
A story can be narrated from several different points of view. Some of the most common include:
First person point of view uses the pronouns “I” and “we”.
“I felt like I was getting drowned with shame and disgrace.
Second person point of view uses the pronoun “you”.
“Sometimes you cannot clearly discern between anger and frustration.”
Third person point of view uses pronouns like “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” or a name.
“Mr. Stewart is a principled man. He acts by the book and never lets you deceive him easily.”

Man vs. Self
Round or Dymanic
A round or dynamic character is one whose character or personality changes throughout the story.
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