Exposition: The mood and conditions existing at the beginning of the story. The setting is identified. The main characters with their positions, circumstances and relationships to one another are established. The exciting force or initial conflict is introduced. Sometimes called the “Narrative HOOK” this begins the conflict that continues throughout the story. Rising Action: The series of events, conflicts, and crises in the story that lead up to the climax, providing the progressive intensity, and complicate the conflict. Climax: The turning point of the story. A crucial event takes place and from this point forward, the protagonist moves toward his inevitable end. The event may be either an action or a mental decision that the protagonist makes. Falling Action/Denouement: The events occurring from the time of the climax to the end of the story. The main character may encounter more conflicts in this part of the story, but the end is inevitable. Resolution: The tying up of loose ends and all of the threads in the story. The conclusion. The hero character either emerges triumphant or is defeated at this point.
Plot Structure: PowerPoint
Using Freytag’s Pyramid
Plot is the literary element that describes
the structure of a story. It shows the
causal arrangement of events and actions
within a story.
It’s like the framework that the story is
built around. The better the framework,
the better the story.
Where does conflict fit?
• Plot structure is formed around
• Plot introduces the conflict, develops
it, and finally resolves it.
A nineteenth century German novelist,
Freytag saw common patterns in the
plots of stories and novels and
developed a diagram (Freytag’s
pyramid) to analyze them.
He diagrammed a story's plot using a
pyramid like the one shown on the next
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
Plot Structure Components
Exposition: setting the scene. The
writer introduces the characters
and setting, providing description
Rising Action: the series of
conflicts and crises in the story
that lead to the turning point.
Turning Point (Climax): the place where the plot turns or
“changes direction” because after this point, the story is moving
towards resolution. It is the event that the rising action builds
up to and that the falling action follows.
Falling Action: events that
happen as a result of the climax
as the conflict grows closer to
main conflict is solved or
Wait! Add two more parts!
We are going to include two additional parts to
• Inciting incident – tied to the exposition, it is something happens to
begin the action. A single event usually signals or causes the beginning of
the main conflict. The inciting incident is sometimes called 'the
complication'. On the pyramid, it is after exposition, before rising
• Denouement - (a French term, pronounced: day-noo-mon) 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. It’s next to resolution on the