- Slides: 11
Teaching Plot Structure Through Short Stories 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.
Types of Linear Plots can be told in Chronological order Flashback In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition
Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramidshaped. This structure has been described in more detail by Aristotle and by Gustav Freytag.
Aristotle’s Unified Plot The basic triangle-shaped plot structure was described by Aristotle in 350 BCE. Aristotle used the beginning, middle, and end structure to describe a story that moved along a linear path, following a chain of cause and effect as it works toward the solution of a conflict or crisis.
Freytag’s Plot Structure Freytag modified Aristotle’s system by adding a rising action (or complication) and a falling action to the structure. Freytag used the five-part design shown above to describe a story’s plot.
Modified Plot Structure 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 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 situation before the action starts Resolution: the conclusion, the tying together of all of the threads
Ms Stone’s Even More Modified Plot Structure Climax Resolution (Denouement) Exposition The final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work. Ms Stone modified Freytag’s system by shortening the falling action of the structure. She and other literary critics believe the events of falling action are fewer than those in the rising action. See page 351 of the text. Also, the character is never the same after the conflict and therefore cannot be put back in the same place as the exposition.
“The Follower” by Jack Gantos Frankie crashes bike off roof. Scary Gary sent away. Narrator goes back for Frankie and narrator torture chair. Mom grounds are bored. Climax narrator. ion t Ac Ri g Exposition: The story begins in the narrator’s front yard. g n si llin Frankie lands in yard. Narrator is fascinated. Mom says “Stay away. ” Ac Fa Narrator gets involved with Frankie and Scary Gary and he dislocates arm. Mom warns on narrator. i t Narrator admits he’s a follower but doesn’t care and wants to be rescued from boredom. . Resolution (Denouement)
Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Types of Conflict Interpersonal Conflict Human vs Nature Human vs Society Internal Conflict Human vs Self