The "plot" is the main story line that the author wants the reader to follow. It is like an outline that gives structure to the story. Without a plot there is no direction, no point toward which the story is working.
There are five elements to plot:
1. Exposition. This is where the readers are introduced to the main characters, the setting and the conflict of the story.
2. Rising Action. In this section conflict was previously introduced increases, adding to the tension and drama of the story.
3. Climax. This is where the conflict reaches a head and there is a turning point in the plot. What has been building takes place. Some questions are answered, but you still want to know more as a reader.
4. Falling Action. In this phase of the plot all of the previously loose ends begin to come together, giving a sense of completion.
5. Resolution. The concluding events and comments of the story.