Guide to Literary Terms

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What is the plot in a fiction story? What is the process of defining the plot in a story?

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The plot in a fiction story is what happens. Plot is composed of several parts. The conflict is the event that happens to begin the action of the story. It is a problem the main character must resolve. Rising action, or complications, is a series of events that occur because of the conflict. The climax is that point in the story at which the problem is resolved. The conclusion, or resolution, is what happens to the character in the story after the problem is resolved. In The Three Little Pigs, the conflict occurs in the work ethics of each little pig. Two of the three are lazy and take the easy way out in building their houses. That is the conflict.  Then, along comes a hungry wolf who desires pork chops! All the huffing and puffing etc. are the rising action. The climax occurs when the wolf cannot blow down the house of bricks. In the resolution, the lazy pigs have learned a lesson from their hard-working brother.

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