- Slides: 18
Identifying the Elements of A Plot Diagram
Plot (definition) • Plot is the organized pattern or sequence of events that make up a story. Like links in a chain, each event hooks our curiosity and pulls us forward to the next event.
Linear Plot Diagram Most stories are told in chronological order, the order in which events unfold in real time. 2 1 3 4 5
Linear Vs. Non-Linear Plot “Linear” means “line” because the events are in order.
1. Exposition • This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story. Here the characters are introduced. We also learn about the setting of the story. Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).
2. Rising Action • This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s). A building of interest or suspense occurs.
3. Climax • This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict. The main character will change in some way.
4. Falling Action • All loose ends of the plot are tied up. The conflict(s) and climax are taken care of.
5. Resolution • The story comes to a reasonable ending.
Linear Plot Diagram Review: What were those parts again? 3 2 1 4 5
Putting It All Together 1. Exposition 2. Rising Action 3. Climax 4. Falling Action 5. Resolution Beginning of Story Middle of Story End of Story
Non-Linear “Non-Linear” plots are NOT in order – they may follow more than one character, more than one event, start in the middle, or start at the end & work backwards!
In Media Res • This is where an author starts the story in the middle. Then, they usually go back to the beginning to explain how they got there and then finish the story. • Many movies and TV shows will do this as well, starting in the middle or near the end of the episode, and then backtrack.
Flashback—a scene that interrupts the present action of the plot to flash backward and tell what happened at an earlier time. Flashbacks can • provide background information Present • strengthen our understanding of a character Past Can you think of a book or movie that has a flashback in it?
Flash-Forward—a scene that interrupts the present action of the plot to shift into the future. • Flash-forwards can create dramatic irony. The readers know what will happen in the future, but the characters don’t. Can you think of a book or movie where time has flashed forward? Present Future
Foreshadowing is the use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in the plot. • Foreshadowing can make a story more exciting by increasing suspense. Movies do this all the time through… • Dialogue (Star Wars – “I don’t have a good feeling about this…”) • Music (Jaws – you knew when someone was about to get attacked) • Scenes (Sixth Sense – re-watch it to see all the clues that you missed the first time around!)
Isolated Scenes Each scene in a story plays a part. Author’s think carefully about their diction, their descriptions, and each scene they write. An isolated scene can stand apart from the story but helps to develop the story by offering important insights. Examples: -A way to develop character (through an isolated flashback) -A way to develop the conflict (through an internal struggle with a minor conflict; this would show how the character will really struggle with the major conflict)
Subplots This is when there are multiple, parallel plots happening at once. Any additional, smaller story lines happening below (sub) the main plot are called subplots. They can connect, or help build up the main plot, or may be un-related. Text example: A Civil War movie (war being main story line) that also features a love story. (sub plot) Movie Example: Main story line: Marlin finding Nemo. Subplot: Marlin’s transformation from over-protective to trusting. At the climax, when Marlin & Nemo are fighting the net, the main plot & the subplot connect. Marlin has to prove that he’s really changed so he can trust Nemo.