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Plot Structure Plot is the literary element that describes the structure of a story. It shows the a causal arrangement of events and actions within a story.
Freytag’s Pyramid Freytag’s Pyramid uses a five-part system to describe a story’s plot. This graphic organizer matches the way stories are constructed: The climax is the high point, and it’s surrounded by rising and falling action.
Modified Freytag Pyramid Freytag’s Pyramid is often modified so that it extends slightly before and after the primary rising and falling action. You might think of this part of the chart as similar to the warm-up and cool-down for the story.
Plot Structure Components Climax: The turning point. The most intense moment (either mentally or in action. Rising Action: the series of conflicts and crisis in the story that lead to the climax. Falling Action: all of the action which follows the Climax. Exposition: The start of the story. The way things are before the action starts. Resolution: The conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads.
Exposition Setting the scene. The writer introduces the characters and setting, providing description and background.
Inciting incident: Something happens to begin the action. A single event usually signals the beginning of the main conflict. The inciting incident is sometimes called the complication.
Rising Action: The story builds as sequential events happen, and so the story becomes more exciting. The events leading up to the climax.
Climax The moment of greatest tension in a story—the turning point. It is the event that the rising action builds up to and that the falling action follows.
Falling Action Events that happen after the climax. Events that occur as a result of the climax, and we know that the story will soon end.
Resolution The main character solves the main problem/conflict, or someone solves it for him or her.
Dénouement A French term, pronounced: day-noo-moh--the ending. At this point, any remaining secrets, questions or mysteries which remain after the resolution are solved by the characters or explained by the author. Sometimes the author leaves us to think about the THEME or future possibilities for the characters. You can think of the dénouement as the opposite of the exposition: instead of getting ready to tell us the story by introducing the setting and characters, the author is getting ready to end it with a final explanation of what actually happened and how the characters think or feel about it. This can be the most difficult part of the plot to identify, as it is often very closely tied to the resolution.