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I was taught and teach plot structure this way.
First you have the protagonist or main character. The protagonist has an objective and encounters resistance from the antagonist or forces working against the protagoinst. This is the conflict.
There are four major types of conflicts---man vs. man, man vs. himself, man vs. nature and man vs. the supernatural.
Plot structure is next and can be divided into five parts.
1. Exposition. The exposition exposes necessary information like who, when, where, and what.
2. Conflict. The conflict is also called the rising action. Here we have the protagoinst encountering obstacles.
3. Crisis. The crisis is a decision made by the protagoinist. As a result of this decision, the protagonist will either gain his objective or lose it.
4. Climax. The climax happens when the protagoinst acts on his decision (crisis).
5. Denouement. The denouement is the falling action which wraps up the loose ends.
I realize that there are variations but this is how I learned it.
Dramatic plot has about 6 major points:
1. Exposition: This is the beginning of the story during which characters, setting, and circumstances are introduced. This is important because it lays the foundation for the story and gives the audience a schema or frame of reference for what is about to unfold.
2. Inciting Incident: This is the point at which a problem is introduced that sets a story in motion. It positions the audience to hope for the main characters to find resolution. In The Most Dangerous Game, a character falls off a boat and this presents a problem for which the main character seeks a solution for the entire story.
3. Rising Action: Often, students describe this as events leading to the climax, which is true, but more accurately, these are events which complicate the original inciting incident making hope feel more lost or more challenging to find. This portion of a story usually takes the most time.
4. Climax: This point in the story gives an audience a great clue as to whether the problem will be solved or not, and it has the most suspense of the entire story.
5. Falling Action: This set of just a few events tries to tie up loose ends from complications introduced in the rising action.
6. The Dénouement, or Resolution: This is the point of ultimate solution or eternal ill-repair. It occurs at the end of a story to create a satisfied conclusion or unsettled inquiry.
Check the link below and scroll down until you see a pyramid for further information.
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