Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Interactives
 

What Goes into a Plot?

Narrative tradition calls for developing stories with particular pieces--plot elements--in place.

  1. Exposition is the information needed to understand a story.

  2. Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.

  3. Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.

  4. Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close.

It's not always a straight line from the beginning to the end of a short story. In Ernest Hemingway's story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," the action shifts from past to present. This shifting of time is the way we learn what happened and why, and it keeps us interested in the story. But good stories always have all the plot elements in them.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding "A Jury of Her Peers," -- "Why did the author arrange the story elements the way she did? How does she control our emotional response and prepare us for reversals or surprises?"

[Next: Exploring Point of View]


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"Literature" is inspired by programs from Literary Visions.

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