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Page history last edited by Russell 11 years, 11 months ago

Reading Fiction – Plot



The sequence of events in a story is called the story’s plot. The plot is like a blueprint of what happens, when it happens, and to whom it happens. Plots are almost always built around conflicts – problems or struggles between opposing forces. Although plots differ, a plot usually includes the four stages of development described below.



1)    Exposition

  • Introduces characters
  • Introduces setting
  • Supplies background
  • Sets the tone

2)    Rising Action

  • Introduces complications
  • Builds suspense

3)    Climax

  • Turning point of the story
  • The moment when suspense reaches its peak
  • Results in a change for the main character
  • Usually arrives before the ending, but can be found at or near the end as well

4)    Falling Action

  • Occurs after the climax of the story
  • Resolves conflict
  • Ties up loose ends







Briefly describe the characters and setting at the beginning:



Any background information given about the people/place?




Rising Action:

What complications exist for which characters?



Where does conflict come from in the story? Another person? A group? A belief? Society in general?





No further major conflicts should exist after the climax of a story. Briefly summarize the action where it seems the conflict “comes to a head” in this story:




Falling Action:

Briefly describe what happens after the climax:



Are mysteries solved? “Loose ends tied?” Explain:


Information from "The Language of Literature" published by McDougal Littell, A Houghton Mifflin Company, Evanston, Illinois. 2000.

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