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1. The Function of the Plot (6th Reading)

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David Maxwell

on 17 September 2018

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Transcript of 1. The Function of the Plot (6th Reading)

The Function of the Plot
How 5 Work As 1
"The exposition…here we go…the exposition…what a show!"
The most exciting part of the story; the turning point, the moment when the outcome of the conflict is determined...
The Rising Action
The Rising Action occurs when a series of events build up to the conflict. These events are known as complications. The main characters are established by the time the rising action of a plot occurs and at the same time, events begin to get complicated. These complications are designed to make the conflict more interesting. A certain number of these are usually tackled before the main problem is solved. This is the uphill struggle and bulk of the plot in the story. It is during this part of a story that excitement, tension or crisis is encountered.
What is Plot?
The PLOT is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It is said to be
the foundation of a story
which the characters and settings are built around. It is understood to be a series of

related events
in a story; each connected to the next. The sequence of events in a plot are designed
to arouse the reader's curiosity and pull the reader forward through the story.
"The structure of a novel depends on the
organization of events
in the plot of the story."


When you read a story, short or long, you expect and
to be taken somewhere. To leave your current surroundings and live between the lines.
This is
to do when the plot is
to follow.
According to most sources, there are

main elements in a plot.
or introduction.
These 5 elements work together to win your
, and
as you read. And we all know what happens when those three things are captured and explored...
Time goes by quickly...
Blood, sweat, and tears (aka emotions) are felt and shed...
You get the idea...
Now, lets look at each of these elements closely.
Also known as
basic situation
, this is the opening of the story, when the setting, characters, and conflicts are introduced.

Plots can be told in...
Chronological Order
In media res
(in the middle of things, skipping the exposition)

I will use examples to explain from a Chronological point of view.
In it's purest form, it's simply a way of giving the reader information in the simplest, flattest way possible so the author can clearly explain everything he or she thinks you need to know.
The key for a story to be a success is the placement of exposition without much notice. This means that the exposition is craftily inserted in the story so it flows right into the Rising Action unnoticed. You have to break the the story down to really find it. The reader only needs to pick up what they must know when they need to know it.
Once you get these three aspects; setting, character, conflict, the story usually takes off from there. You can get these early in the story, therefore ending the exposition early, or you might not get them until deep into the story (leaving you questioning whether you should keep reading or not) and then the action usually flows pretty quickly afterward. For instance...
Are you familiar with the extremely depressing story of Cinderella?
Would you include information about her singing rehearsals with the wild animals that live in the forest and her home?
Or would you just merely mention the fact that she is best friends with a mouse?
"Don’t ever overdo it!"
This is where the plot starts to grab our attention. The Rising action is intended for this. The "conflict gets more interesting" and we are being pulled forward through the rest of the story. Where would Cinderella be in her story around this time?
We sometimes are driven quickly through the events of the Rising Action. Most of the time we are paced through while in suspense, waiting to see what will happen next.
The characters in a story can sometimes journey for a very long time before reaching any type of solution...........................

The climax usually comes near the end of a short story and contains the most tension of all the complications that occur before it.

It is important to understand that if the main character has not solved their overall issue, then you have not reached/solved the main conflict yet.

The next two events follow immediately after our character has reached these results... sometimes very quickly afterwards, the story ends.
The Falling Action
When the
logical results
of the climax are shown.
The Resolution
The very end of the story, when the loose ends of the plot are tied up.
Functions of a Plot Review

A plot is one of the most important parts of a story and has many different purposes.

The plot focuses attention on the important characters and their roles in the story.

It motivates the characters to affect the story and connects the events in an orderly manner.

It creates a desire for the reader to go on reading by absorbing them in the middle of the story, wanting to know what happens next.

The plot leads to the climax, but by gradually releases the story in order to maintain the reader’s interest.

During the plot of a book, a reader gets emotional and connects with the book, not allowing himself to put the book down. Eventually, the plot reveals the entire story and gives the reader a sense of completion that he has finished the story and reached a conclusion.

The plot is what forms a memory in the readers’ mind, allowing them to think about the book and even making them want to read it again. By identifying and understanding the plot, the reader is able to understand the message being conveyed by the author and the explicit or implicit moral of the story.
And there you have...
And for fun... watch these... they explain it in a fun way. Enjoy!!!
This ones tells a bit more than plot...
This one is spot on...
If I were to ask you to give me the setting, characters, and conflict of this story...
...what would your response be?
Full transcript