Friday, November 2, 2007

Plot Structure - Parts/Elements of the Plot

PLOT: is a series of logically related incidents that lead to a satisfying outcome in literature

Exposition is the information needed to understand a story. The EXPOSITION introduces or exposes the reader to the beginning facts of the story:

the who of CHARACTER, the when and where of SETTING, the opening MOOD or atmosphere, the ideas of THEME, the window of viewpoint and any additional details or actions that prepare the reader to understand the plot.

Often expository details act as clues or hints about what will happen next. Such clues are called FORESHADOWING

Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.
Conflict may be distinguished by whether the source of the conflict is inside or outside the character. The terms for this are INTERNAL or EXTERNAL conflict.

Conflict can be classified by the type of antagonistic force. Standard conflicts are: Human VS Human, Human VS Self, Human VS Nature, Human VS Beast (machine), or Human VS Society. Obviously, a character may have more than one conflict at a time.

In addition, the first event that introduces the conflict is called the PRECIPITATING INCIDENT. Once the conflict is clear, it is followed by a SERIES OF INCIDENTS that serve to heighten the tension by complicating the problem. This period of escalating conflict is called the RISING ACTION.

Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication. This is where the plot turns toward a RESOLUTION of the CONFLICT. The CLIMAX is the moment of greatest suspense, the moment when the story's plot turns and begins moving towards a resolution. The Greeks called this moment CRISIS.

Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close;falling action, catastrophe, denouement

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