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We usually analyze and study stories by looking at: The writer The literary devices used by the writer The characters The setting The plot structure The themes
Plot Structure Plot is the literary structure of a story. It shows the connections between the events and actions in a story.
Chronological order Flashback In media res (in the middle of things) when the story starts in the middle of the action without exposition Types of Linear Plots Plots can be told in
Pyramid Plot Structure The most basic and traditional form of plot is pyramid-shaped. This structure was described first by Aristotle and in more detail by Gustav Freytag.
Aristotle’s Unified Plot The basic pyramid-shaped plot structure was first described by Aristotle in 350 BC. Aristotle identified that each story has a beginning, middle and end. He also said that these events were connected through a chain of cause and effect.
Freytag’s Plot Structure Freytag modified Aristotle’s plot structure by adding rising actions that lead to the climax of the story, and falling actions that lead to the resolution after the climax.
Modified Plot Structure Freytag’s Pyramid is often extended slightly before and after the main rising and falling action. You might think of these as being the warm-up and cool-down of the story.
Plot Elements Climax: the most intense moment of CONFLICT in the story Rising Action: the series of events in the story that lead to the climax Falling Action: all of the events which follow the climax Exposition: the start of the story; the introduction of the characters and the setting before the action starts Resolution: the end of the story; how the characters accept the new situation
Conflict Conflict is the dramatic struggle between two forces in a story. Without conflict, there is no plot.
Interpersonal Conflict Human vs Human Human vs Nature Human vs Society Internal Conflict Human vs Self Types of Conflict