plot vs storyExplain the difference between a film's story and a film's plot,

6 Answers

lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

As mentioned above, a story will not have the elements of a plot. A story will not have an inciting incident known as the conflict or the problem. A story can be based on interesting material, but not necessarily have a conflict or a problem. Without a conflict or a problem, you have a story. With a conflict or a problem, you have plot.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The story or storyline of a film is what the movie is about. For instance, the story of the film The Godfather, Part I is the beginnings of the Corleone crime family. 

The plot designates the structure of the story, the order of events as well as the problems that occur in this development of events and how these problems are solved. Referring again to The Godfather, the plot involves the introduction of the Don Corleone as a young immigrant from Italy in New York, his beginnings in crime, his rise to wealth, conflicts, and the resolution of these conflicts.

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

The story of a film can be summed up very briefly as, for example, "Girl gets to play baseball." The plot can be summed up equally briefly as, in keeping with the example, "HOW girl gets to play baseball." Therein lies the conflict that is preventing the girl from playing baseball and that she must overcome.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Yes, plot is a much more specific term than story. In addition, we normally divide the plot into five significant parts or sections, called the exposition, the rising action, the climax, the falling action and the resolution. It can be helpful to try and trace these different stages in the study of any text.

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Plot is a literary term for what happens in a story--the events which occur, from beginning to end. If I ask you the plot of a novel, short story, or movie, I'm asking you to tell me what happens in it. If I ask you to tell me about a story, what you tell me is known as the plot. They are interchangeable terms in most contexts. As mentioned above, a good plot or story must have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Something should happen in every effective story.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Plot is the sequence of events in a story.  In a movie, we do refer to it as a storyline.  Basically, the plot of a story starts out with exposition, where the characters, setting and inciting incident are introduced.  Then there's the rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.  The climax is the most interesting point.