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Plot/ Structure

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by

Alyssa Rochford

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of Plot/ Structure

Pace of the Plot
the reader's sense that a story either moves rapidly or drags
Pace is controlled by style
Greatest factor of pace: RATE OF REVELATION
Show- don't tell!
Plot/ Structure
By Nicole, Katie & Alyssa
Closings & Openings
Basic Needs & Scene Awareness
Tips on Scene Construction
How to Review Pace:
DO DO NOT

Writing Activity
Write a flashback to explain the event in the following scene. You must write a maximum of five sentences.
Avoid cliche endings and openings such as:
read the whole text without stopping
review your work with fresh eyes
Character introduction and development
Setting
Introduction (varies with writing style)
Rising Action
Climax
Falling Action
Conclusion
DO DO NOT
Fatal death vs. Unfortunate injury
Suicide vs. Loneliness
'And then I woke up'
Closings
Openings
Over-descriptive
Too much exposition

DO NOT
have too much exposition, description

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat...
It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel; a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats.
-The Hobbit, J.R. Tolkein
DO
create immediacy at an effective time

The book you are holding in your two hands right now-assuming that you are, in fact, holding this book, and that you have only two hands-is one of the two books in the world that will show you the difference between the word "nervous" and the word "anxious." The other book, of course, is the dictionary, and if I were you I would read that book instead.
-A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket
frequently change pace within short stories
keep insignificant dramatic action if it does not follow the theme
Example
Brian paused and lit a cigarette. He exhaled a stream of smoke at the window.
vs.
Brian paused and lit a cigarette. He held it close to his body, as if he didn't want to take up too much space. He exhaled a stream of smoke at the window, avoiding Anne-Marie’s eyes.
Varieties of Plot Patterns
chronological order
flashbacks
base time
flash-forwards
frame story
DO DO NOT
have too many flashbacks/forwards in a short story
be aware of the tense you use to show flashbacks/flash-forwards…
Flashbacks:
Flash-forwards:
IN- “she had” OUT- “after 30 years”
IN- “next year, he will” OUT- “but for the moment”
Example
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
vs.
The Handmaid's Tale
moves chronologically
expected ending
follows plot graph format
modern
uses frame story
more character revelation
jumps from scene to scene
classic
Plot
: used to describe events that make up a story or the main part of a story; the structure of a novel
wo/man vs. nature
wo/man vs. wo/man
wo/man vs. society
wo/man vs. machines/technology
wo/man vs. the supernatural
wo/man vs. self
wo/man vs. god/religion
Types of Plot:
Necessary Elements:
“I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! He had the eye of a vulture --a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees --very gradually --I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye forever.”
-Edgar Allan Poe
Example
sacrifice the value of a scene by having the wrong paragraph length
change scenes excessively in short stories
change scenes without informing the reader somehow
create an informal outline in order to save time
consider eliminating a whole paragraph instead of word-by-word
be sure to start new paragraphs and indent when changing scenes
New scenes can be signaled by the change of setting or the arrival/departure of a character
Your hand reaches up to touch your face; to feel your features, but there are none...
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