If you look at most stories, you’ll notice that most have a similar structure to the plot line depicted below. Stories start with an exposition, build rising actions that lead up to the climax. Post-climax, there’s falling action until the story concludes with the denouement.
On occasion, writers differentiate their story, and shift this structure, so feel free to play with how/when you introduce each part of your story’s structure.
Exposition – The introductory phase in which characters are introduced or mentioned. Setting is established. And, we’re made aware of existing relationships.
Rising Action – Things that take place and build towards a larger problem or conflict, in which the characters want resolved.
Climax – The apex of acknowledgement of the problem or conflict.
Falling Action – Events that takes place after the problem, working towards resolution.
Denouement – The conclusion of the story, typically ending with a solution to the problem or conflict.
Seven Different Storylines to Use
Once your decide on the structure of your story, you’ll then determine your plot. Different schools of thought have varying opinions on types of plots, but we’ve chosen the seven basic plots we use when writing:
Overcoming the Monster – A story where the hero recounts their conflict and triumph.
Example: James Bond
Rags to Riches – A story where the underdog overcomes obstacles to rise in social status or quality of life.
The Quest – A story in which the hero goes on a journey to obtain or save a treasured object.
Example: Wizard of Oz
Voyage and Return – A story where the hero leaves their ordinary surroundings to experience a foreign place, prior to returning.
Example: Alice in Wonderland
Comedy – A story where confusion causes one or multiple misunderstandings, ending happily.
Example: Mr. Bean
Tragedy – A story where the main character(s) suffer negative experiences that spiral downward until the story ends.
Example: Breaking Bad
Rebirth – A story where the main character has a physical or metaphorical death and rebirth.
Example: A Christmas Carol
Now that you know more about plot lines and building the structure of a story, you’re ready to get started!
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