What Is a Plot Structure and How to Write It Easily?
You can have amazing content to share with your readers. However, if your story is not structured properly, your chances to reach the hearts of your readers can decrease significantly.
Applying various structuring approaches can facilitate your work greatly. Below you may find a lot of useful information about such approaches and many other things about how to practice in writing plots.
During writing a story, its plot and structure are like your system of coordinates. You may simply include your ideas to it and navigate your readers effectively.
To give you a plot structure definition, let’s consider its separate elements:
- the plot is a block of events that make your story, including their relevance to each other and the order of occurrence;
- the structure is your layout or the overall composition for your story.
The structure is more abstract by nature. This is a kind of model that can be used for writing common types of stories. It actually makes a story from any data.
However, to make your story interesting, its characters should mean something for your readers. These issues are covered by your plot. It includes events and characters that form your story and make it unique.
What is the Goal of a Plot Structure?
Any story should have its certain meaning for a reader, contain the author’s messages that he/she would like to communicate. So, the main objective of any plot structure is to range these ideas. This way, you can build effective communication with your readers. You will also have more chances to interest your future readers.
Your future story should also be wisely divided into separate parts connected in some way to each other. Each part of your story should have a certain meaning and message for your readers.
Models of a Plot Structure
Depending on the type of story, you should consider the appropriate model a plot structure. This tool will help you to shape your texts properly regardless of their complexity.
The Freytag’s Pyramid
This traditional model for structuring includes five main elements. If you are a beginner, it is better to start your writing from this model. So, let’s take a better look at what happens at each of the five points of plot structure:
- Exposition – the introduction of your story, where you indicate its settings and characters.
- Rising action – a block of events that embarrass matters for the characters and creates increased suspense or drama.
- Climax – your great showdown that envisages the opposition of your characters where they either lose or win.
- Falling action – a block of events that follow after the climax and lead to the conclusion of your story.
- Resolution – this is the end of your story where characters resolve or not their problems. This part is also called as the catastrophe, revelation, or denouement of a story.
Advantage: clear and simple for your writing and understanding by your readers.
Disadvantage: this model is very much predictable as it is easy to presume where will be the climax of your story.
The Fichtean Curve
This model is similar toFreytag’s pyramid. However, it has a block of crises instead of its part with the rising actions. This block eventually develops into the climax with the maximum tension and the subsequent falling actions.
Advantage: this plot is more suitable for modern literature.
Disadvantage: requires a more skilled description of modern literature.
The Hero’s Journey
This plot model illustrates the difference between the familiar and unfamiliar in the life of a hero. His/her story is interrupted by any occasion or adventure with such a hero/heroine that leads to the main crisis of a story. After the story’s major crisis, there are a couple of smooth transitions to the final of a story. In the end, there are familiar circumstances of the hero’s life with the changes that such a crisis has brought.
Advantage: this is a good option for a long story.
Disadvantage: It can be boring for a reader to wait for the main and part (crisis) of a story.
In Media Res
The exposition of a story is replaced by its crisis. The story itself jumps to the middle of adventures. Its climax and its falling action section are followed by flashbacks of such climax appearing up to the final section of a story.
Advantage: the best structure for a story for action fans.
Disadvantage: numerous actions can be exhausting for some readers.
Writing a Plot Structure
Before starting your writing, think over the main things you want to introduce to your readers. Try to form your clear messages concerning such matters. For your convenience, you may simply write them down on a separate paper. Afterward, you may range these ideas and form the separate blocks of your future story.
What is the Structure of a Traditional Plot?
Traditionally, any story has its beginning, the middle part, and its conclusion.
In the beginning, you introduce the main event and characters. Also, you put transitions to the next parts of your story and put it into motion.
In the middle of your story, you describe and expand the main point of your plot. Your character faces here with the main obstacles and tackles such. This creates the tension of your story and its higher point. This part also contains its crucial moment that decides the overall situation and after which the main hero/heroine realizes something important.
At the end of your story, your characters learn some lessons or realize important points. This is a kind of summary of the gained experience. In the final, you close the overall story with some meaningful concluding sentences.
Elements to Consider
To make your writing more effective, there are many elements to consider adding to the structure and plot of your story:
1. Act – this is a part of your story. As a rule, your story comprises 3 acts:
- 1st – contains a call to action;
- 2nd – creates crises, tension, and conflicts;
- 3rd – introduces the resolution of all situations.
2. Doorway – this is a scene that occurs without any backing outs. For instance, your characters may decide to accomplish something they have never tried before. Your story can have more than one doorway. Actually, this is your transition from the beginning to the middle of your story or from its middle to the conclusion.
3. Disaster – this is a moment where the hero’s intention to achieve some goal finishes badly. Very often, even conflicts may occur at this point.
4. Disturbance – this is a call to action for your hero/heroine that inspires your character to resolve his/her situation or achieve a goal.
5. Character arc – this is how your main character transforms through the entire story and what key changes he/she experiences. This is the exact thing that can make your readers interested in your story.
Tips for Your Practice
Of course, writing your stories depends only on your inspiration and ideas. However, there are some tips to consider:
- form the character arc for your story – decide when the rising action starts, shape the climax of your story, and decide what kind of falling action you want to place in the end of your story.
- think about the disturbance of your story and its doorways. Define the main things that force your character to go through the first and the second doorway.
- outline your story and specify its three acts. Look at it impartially and decide how you can improve it;
- add hooks, especially in the beginning of your story;
- form the description of the main events of your story – think about how does your hero/heroine accept his/her challenge, what lessons does he/she learn, how does he/she transform this experience in his/her favor;
- decide how you will finish your story – its conclusion should summarize the whole story and contain some interesting statements to impress your readers positively in the end.
Your content and ideas should be structured properly to achieve all purposes of your writing, make it interesting and convincing. This can also facilitate your writing process and enable you to make it even joyful.
Think about your main ideas, write down on a separate paper, and develop the main elements for your story.
Go on with your writing and let the world see your stories.