Every successfully told story through time has followed a particular order when conveying a message. This order is called elements of plot and has been in use since the mid-1800. Gustav Freytag was the first person to make use of plot elements when he published the technique of the drama in 1863. His composition was based on the poetics, a dissertation written by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle who is also called the father of western philosophy.
When it comes to elements of plot, the application is as important as the structure. The latter might be easier to follow as you will see below, but the information in the story matters as well. However, even without the excessive drama that helps overhype most stories, you can base your story on plot elements and give such production’s a run for their money. However, these elements require strict adherence to the format as well as a dash of creativity to make your story more interesting.
We will teach the different parts of a plot
The parts of a plot refer to the five elements that every story has to follow. Plot structures are also known as dramatic structures seeing they effortlessly introduce conflict and resolution to any story. There are five parts of plot distributed from the beginning of your story, the middle, and your conclusion. So what are the elements of plot?
There are 5 elements of plot, and each plays a vital role in your story. Here is a list of these elements.
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
How do I use the elements of a plot?
Using the elements of a plot is quite easy once you understand what is required for every element. For starters, the introduction, which is arguably the most important part of any story, should be both informative and enthralling. All basic characters are revealed at the beginning of the story as well as some of the other elements such as the setting.
Of all five parts of a plot, the introduction is also the most revealing seeing it hints at conflict in some stories making them even more interesting to the listener or viewer. This tactic has been used widely for many years in novels as well as films and works best if hinted at the introduction. However, you can also introduce other conflicts later on in the story to add some drama. There are different ways of placing the introduction to your work.
The introduction comes within the first few paragraphs if your story is short. However, if you are writing a novel or a very long narrative, the introduction should come after a few chapters, preferably after the table of contents and preface. Your introduction should also contain the part of your story that grabs the reader’s attention. This part is called the hook.
Rising action is the second plot element and its where the conflict gets serious. After introducing your characters and giving the readers or viewers a glimpse of the problems to expect in the article, this is the part where you explain all the conflicts. Rising action embodies the part where the story starts getting complicated. However, make sure you don’t solve the problems yet as there is an element reserved for such unraveling. Still, your characters can choose to act against the challenges they face as the story keeps building up to the next element.
This stage is also where you introduce tension, excitement, and some crisis if need be to prepare your audience for the next part of the plot.
The climax takes center stage in the elements of plot structure considering it’s the turning point of any story. This part of the story is where the main character is at a make-or-break point. It is meant to stir up emotions in the audience as the main character tries to find the best way to end the conflict in the story. There are four different kinds of conflict in every story; man versus man, man versus society, man versus self, and man versus circumstances.
Regardless of the conflict in your story, the climax is where the lead performer(s) should be in danger of possibly never resolving their conflict. The conflicts mentioned above can be mental or even physical depending on your story. The fourth element is falling action, and this part shows some of the steps the main character can take to resolve the conflict. By now, the audience is somewhat relaxed seeing the lead performer survived their conflict.
The results the character makes in the climax stage when they are overwhelmed by problems should reflect in falling action. At this stage, decisions are not judged based on good and ad but survival and continuation of a story. However, make sure your story remains interesting through the end to avoid losing readers after the climax. Most people have read a lot of books and can see a plot twist or the end of a story after the climax.
Introduce some suspense as well as other story writing techniques alongside these elements for a captivating narrative. Resolution is the last part of the elements, and it signifies the end of your story. Here, the conflicts introduced at the beginning of your story are resolved. Moreover, whether good or bad, the outcome of the decisions made by your lead character is revealed here as well.
Can I change the parts of a story plot?
The parts of a story plot are arranged in a sequence that enables the entire narrative to not only make sense but entertain a well. As such, following the structure above for parts of a plot is the safest way is the best way to apply the five plot elements. Every part of a plot is crucial to the entire narrative and alternating them will not only change your story but make it less appealing as well.
Learn other elements of a story plot
The narrative hook might not be categorized as one of the five elements of a story plot, but it some people still use it. However, you can introduce it in the narrative as explained earlier as opposed to creating an entire subsection for the same. The parts of the plot listed earlier cannot function without the hook seeing somewhere along the essay; you are required to grab the reader’s attention.
The plot components discussed in this article are globally recognized, so any addition is merely a matter of preference. However, there are only five elements of plot.
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