Plot of a Story – The 6 Elements of a Plot Explained

elements of a plot

When you want to write a book, one thing you will wish is for your readers to fall in love with your story. We all want our readers to pick up our book and become immersed in the elements of the plot that they can’t put down because it’s stuck in their minds.

This post, it’s all going to be about the plot and its elements. I’ll also be able to share a broad but precise overview of what the plot is. You’ll also learn about the six elements of a plot that makes a given story structure entertaining and mesmerizing as it comes to remembrance.

But before we look into the elements of a plot, we need to know what a plot is, right?

What is a plot?

And the answer is pretty simple. A plot is how an author makes or organizes a chain of stories or events in a narrative—that is, how they manage their ideas. And to be much more precise, a plot is the foundation of a story. Some describe it as the ‘WHAT’ of a given text, while the character is the ‘WHO’ and the ‘WHY.’

Read also, Top 10 Most Unique Literary Elements of a Story

This is the meaning of a plot, then the next question that pops up is, what does a plot do in the world?

When it comes to a plot, it’s said to follow a logical, enticing format that tends to draw the reader in or get a reader’s attention. When it comes to a given plot, it’s said to differ from an actual story. It highlights specifics and goals, not forgetting cause-and-effect relationships between a given trail or sequence of significant events in a story or narrative.

Most writers develop their plots to attract the readers or draw their attention at high levels, making them invested in a story. IN ESSENCE, it’s pretty similar to some charm or white magic when it comes to authors or writers and its use in drawing readers’ attention alike.

That said,

How does a plot work?

When it comes to a plot, it’s said to have a structure all of its own. It follows a given structure or format that draws readers’ attention and introduces character development, world-building, and characters—not forgetting that it also persuades readers to keep on reading to answer questions and satisfy a conflict in the story.

When it comes to a plot, it’s all about cause and effect, but more essentially, a plot is all about choice or a character’s choice.

Put, it isn’t all about a recitation of facts; the facts you include in your plot each have their purpose and tend to place a character into a specific situation in which they must make a decision and pull the story towards an end.

What is the difference between a Plot and a Story?

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When it comes to a plot, it’s simply a story, although an acute type of story. At the same time, a story is a trail of reported events or a recitation of facts.

What are the Elements of a Plot?

The elements of a plot are;

  1. Introduction
  2. Inciting Incident
  3. Rising action
  4. Climax
  5. Falling Action
  6. Denouement

All of these elements of a plot are significant events when it comes to a story. They’re basically in all creative writing types, whether you’re writing a given novel, memoir, short story, screenplay, or other forms of writing.

Furthermore, even the expert writers who don’t use these intentionally are still subconsciously incorporating them into their writing because they tend to bring conflict, action, movement, and life to stories.

Introduction

When it comes to the first element of a plot, it establishes the main protagonists, characters, or setting. IN ESSENCE, we get to know who’s who, and when, and where the story takes place too. At this point, the reader gets to see the story’s world and what it is all about.

For this part, we’re shown what NORMAL looks like for the characters.

And the primary tension or conflict around which the plot resolves is also introduced here to set up the course of events for the rest of the given narrative.

This conflict could be the first meeting between the two main characters or simply the beginning of a murder mystery when it comes to this conflict.

Inciting Incident

The rising action talks about an event or trail of events in a story, which throws the protagonist in a somewhat challenging situation, that is, upsetting the status quo, and beginning the story’s movement, either negatively or positively.

Such movement is said to result in climax as well as denouement.

Rising Action

For the Rising action, we watch the series of events open up or unfold in its remarkable way. There isn’t much when it comes to the story, primarily if everything works out perfectly. The road is exceptionally smooth— in that case, we need some shaky downturn or dispute to add some spice.

Read also, Setting of a Story: Tips for Choosing a Setting and Examples

When it comes to this conflict or downturn in a plot or story, it does come in various forms. For instance, Martin is battling with a gift of his that psychologists have termed a mental ailment. We might see him doubt his decision when he sees images of his mind, which he termed as authentic because they do things that only the natural world can. Still, because of what the doctors said he had, he doubts his God-given power to talk with the world of another dimension.

Maybe Martin meets a strange person who tells him what he has and his mission in life.

Climax

This is one of the most significant parts of a story. According to most writers, the climax is the most crucial plot point for a given level. This is said to put our character’s in a place wherein a choice has to be made, which will affect the rest of the story.

This is one critical moment in which the rising action tends to build up and the point at which the overarching conflict is finally addressed. Things like, what will the characters do, and what will happen as a result?

Tensions or conflict are said to be the highest here. And it also instills in the reader a sense of dread, urgency, and excitement.

Falling Action

This is one of the elements of a plot that includes a bridge between a climax and its resolution in which all subplots and mini-conflicts are duly resolved.

For this part, we begin to see the climax results and the main character’s actions and get a complete sense of what this means for the characters and the world they live in.

At his point, the writer ties up all loose ends or puzzles that need to be fixed in the main plot and subplots.

Denouement

Now, when it comes to this element of a plot. It is said to go at the end of the story; this is where you establish the ‘NORMAL’ all over again, but in which the ‘NEW NORMAL’ is also incorporated; that is, the changes of perceptions or experiences of the characters.

Your readers can sit with your character’s a little in their NEW NORMAL, that is, emotionally wrapping everything up so your reader can place the book away without flipping through the pages to see what they missed while reading.

Simply put, this is the scene closure that has enough words or finality to it. Like, THE END.

Here are examples of plots with elements of a plot set in place to give direction;

Reveal

The hero or protagonist and friends go out on their search for something. It was a magical red stone, which could change the past. So, in this case, the enchanted red rock is the primary goal of this plot type.

Read also, Becoming an Author: How to Write a Book in 7 Simple Steps

Grace

This tells the story of someone poor who becomes successful and wealthy. This type of story can be found more in classics, like Aladdin and the likes. It allows readers to see hope in difficulties and indeed have the sense that everything would turn out to be okay.

Conclusion

Finally, since you now know what a plot is and the elements of a plot. I’d like to throw in a few things to make a good plot;

When it comes to plotting a book, it invariably brings up the controversial topic of outlining, which brings up the question, is it right to properly outline your book? Well, it all depends on whether you’re a pantser or a plotter; that is the case.

I advise that you begin with a rough sketch of your ideas or the BIG PICTURE before you even think of writing.

This means getting the central moments of the story down on paper. And this would also add up things pretty quickly in the story—so that your readers can get a grasp of what you’re talking about.

Before writing a story, you need to ask questions: Does your narrative drag in between the action set pieces? Is there some form of build-up missing in bits of places?

That said, it’s pretty easier to tell when you’ve outlined the significant discoveries that the reader and the character will make.

That said, good luck Benny Readers!

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About the Author: Neville Goddard

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