Identifying the Elements of A Plot Diagram Understanding the Elements of by wuxiangyu

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the Elements of

    Student Notes
    Identifying the Elements of a Plot Diagram

• Every fiction story follows a plot. The story’s plot is made up of a
  series of events and revolves around one or more characters and a
  problem. This problem is called the conflict.

• Fiction writers follow steps to create stories that are full of
  imagination and will captivate readers. The best stories have
  interesting characters and are full of details.

• The plot diagram is a graphic organizer that maps out the five
  major steps of all fiction stories. This includes short stories,
  novellas, and novels. It even works for plays and movies too!

• If you know the five steps of the plot diagram, you will be able to
  understand the stories you read even more! Using the plot diagram
  will help you write better stories too!
    Plot Diagram

       Plot     (definition)
• Plot is the organized
  pattern or sequence
  of events that make
  up a story.
• Every plot is made
  up of a series of
  incidents that are
  related to one
        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.
• The exposition introduces us 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 (preparing us for the climax).
           3. Climax
• This is the turning point of the story.
  Usually the main character comes face to
  face with a conflict. After the climax, 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,
  preparing the reader
  for the final stage: the
            5. Resolution
• The story comes to a
  reasonable ending.
• There should be no
  unanswered questions
  (mysteries are the exception).
• Everything makes sense.
• The reader has a sense that
  the story has come to an
  Putting It All Together
1. Exposition         Beginning of

2. Rising Action
                    Middle of Story
3. Climax

4. Falling Action
                         End of Story
5. Resolution
       Let’s watch a short video about
           plot & plot development!

             Watch and listen carefully.

Key words: plot, conflict, climax, resolution, and subplot.
    Plot Diagram


                                              2                              5


1) Exposition=the story’s            2) Rising Action= the part of     3) Climax=the most important
opening. The exposition              the story where the conflict is   or exciting point or event in the
describes the setting and            introduced; interest or           story; a turning point in the
introduces the main character(s).    suspense starts to build.         story. Something about the
                                                                       main character changes.

         4) Falling Action=all loose ends of the      5) Resolution=the conflict is resolved;
         plot are tied up. The conflict(s) and        there is a solution to the character’s
         climax are taken care of, leading to the     problem(s) and the story concludes
         conflict’s resolution.                       with a reasonable ending.
People or animals who take part in the action of a story are
known as the characters.


Character development is the way a writer reveals the
personality of the character(s) throughout the story.
Characterization includes descriptions, personal traits & the
ways the character(s) change throughout the story. The main
character will always change after the climax, and by the end of
a story, a character’s words or actions may be completely
different than they were in the beginning.
          Characteristics of Classic Literature

 Learn the defining characteristics of classic literature such as
timelessness, dealing with universal themes and experiences
and communicating across cultures.

Certain works of literature have been published for a very long
time. Some works of fiction have been published for hundreds—
even thousands—of years. These works are considered classics.

What qualities do you think classic pieces of literature possess?

Why do some stories disappear, while others last for many years?

A good piece of literature can be enjoyed by readers
from generation to generation. That is timelessness.

FOR EXAMPLE: Shakespeare's works are enjoyed
as much today as they were when they were first
written, hundreds of years ago.

But why? How did he do it? Well, by carefully
choosing his theme is one way.
The theme is an insight, idea, or question about life that a
story explores. Another way of describing a story’s theme
is to think about the general idea the author wants readers to
think about as they read.

A theme is the underlying meaning of a piece of literature. It
usually includes an observation about life. It could be the moral
of the story, a teaching or an observation of human experience.
How Can You Determine a Theme?
You are never actually TOLD what the theme is in a story. You
determine the theme from the characters’ action in a story.
Recurring symbols, questions, or concepts in the narrative—or the
conversation between characters—can help you figure out the
theme. In short, you must determine the theme on your own.

Some examples include:
       Aladin - The theme could be described as: love is not   earned
       through riches of the wallet, but of the heart.
       (How would you describe the theme of Aladin?)

       Beauty and the Beast - The theme could be described as:
       You must look beyond the package and look for what's inside.
       (Don’t judge a book by its cover.)
Universal Theme

Themes that can be understood and appreciated by people of all ages, cultures, places,
and generations are called universal themes.

 If the story’s theme is something that anyone could relate to—or that could be
considered timeless—the theme is universal.

A few examples:
“Good versus evil”   “Bravery” “Love conquers all.” “Patience is a virtue.”
        “Friendship”    “Growing & Changing” “Greed” “Life is a cycle.”
                   “Pride of oneself can lead to destruction.”

Try and think of a story you’ve read that has a universal theme? Do you think this
book might one day be considered a timeless classic? Why or why not?
• All fiction stories revolve around one main conflict, and
  may include secondary conflicts which add to the
  subplots of the story.
• A conflict may be simple or complex.
• Different types of conflicts:
   o   man versus man
   o   man versus self
   o   man versus nature
   o   man versus technology
   o   man versus the world

   Remember that “man” refers to “human” or “humankind.”
   Quality literature asks us to consider the human experience.

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