What are the 5 elements of plot structure?

Working with the narrative plot is similar to working with fabric. As fundamental elements, the threads join the warp to form a creative, original, and one-of-a-kind whole.

On the other hand, the plot is frequently confused with other terms with little or nothing to do with it. Knowing the distinctions between them can be the first step toward writing more securely.

Difference between Theme, Plot, and Plot

Although a priori, it might seem that we are talking about the same concepts, the difference between them is notable.

The theme is a general idea that underlies the story we will narrate. It can be about courage, bravery, hope, love, fear...

The argument is the set of events that we want to tell and are united in a chronological structure, being the basis of the plot, which could well be a superficial synopsis.

The plot is the set of elements that appear in the narrative and their way of intertwining. Or what is the same: the way of presenting those actions, carried out by the characters that necessarily have a cause-effect relationship.

The 5 Elements of Plot

1. Exposition

This is the section of your book where you introduce your characters, set the scene, and begin to introduce the central conflict of your story.

As readers seek to immerse themselves in the story's conflict, the exposition is often limited to a few chapters. Don't put off presenting your inciting incident and launching the case for too long! Many authors mistake filling the exposition of their book with exciting but ultimately unnecessary information about the world. Do not do that!

As much as you want to ensure your reader has all the background information, reading pages and pages of inactivity are no fun. Instead, you should immediately immerse the reader in your story's action and include background information as organically as possible.

2. Rising Action

The rising action usually starts with an inciting incident or a turning point in your story. Then, as the story progresses, numerous moments of conflict will escalate and create tension as the story moves toward the climax.

Consider it the roller coaster section where you're climbing to the top. You want to keep building your story until the reader is ready to see everything crashing down.

This section will take up the majority of your book and can make or break your story, so make each conflict more interesting than the last. Don't be afraid to ask questions that will not be answered until the end of your book.

3. Climax

The climax of your story is the pinnacle of tension, plot, and character. It's the moment your reader has been anticipating, so make it exciting!

This is often the point in the story where everything changes, or your main character is forced to make a life-changing decision. It should be the point in your story where the reader is unsure where it will go next. To use our roller coaster analogy, imagine you're at the top of the peak, and everything comes to a halt: what happens next? A great climax will leave readers with this feeling, compelling them to continue reading until the end.’

4. Falling Action

Now that you've reached the climax of your tale, it's time to start working toward a conclusion that will leave the reader feeling fulfilled. To avoid giving the impression that the conclusion of your story is being rushed now is the time to start working on resolving the story's conflicts and subplots. Additionally, this is the point at which any disagreements that arise directly from the climax can begin to be resolved.

5. Resolution/Denouement

The conclusion of your narrative, known as the resolution, is the point at which you can wrap up any remaining loose ends and bring your story to a happy or tragic conclusion. Or, if you're writing a series, this would be the perfect time to end on a cliffhanger so that your readers eagerly anticipate the next installment!

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.


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