How can I identify the 5 steps in the plot structure of a story?intro,inciting force,rising action,climax and conclusion

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The introduction of a story sets the stage. It presents the main characters, gives the location and time in history, and possibly gives other background information that will be relevant to the story. The inciting force is the reason for the story - the event or situation that causes the action told by the story. The rising action is the section of the story that tells what happens after the inciting incident. If your story is a murder mystery, the inciting force is the discovery of the dead body. The rising action, then, is the investigation that follows - all the searching for clues and interviewing of suspects or witnesses and all the following-up on leads and all the laboratory testing of evidence and the arrest of the suspect. The climax of your murder story would probably be the trial of the suspect in general and in particular the reading of the verdict from the jury and the immediate reaction to it. The conclusion is then the rest of the aftermath of the story, tying up the loose ends for the characters. In the case of the murder story, the conclusion could include the pronouncing of the sentence, the adjustments to life after the murder of the survivors, and the conversion of the murder site to a memorial park.