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Lessons 1-Plot Summary



The plot of a story consists of exposition, a series of related events that present a problem or conflict, leads to a climax or point at which the conflict must be resolved, and results in a resolution of the conflict.
Several things contribute to an effective plot. The sequence of events must be arranged in order and linked together in a chain of natural cause and effect; the characters’ actions and reactions must be consistent with their personalities; events must lead naturally to a climax which in turn has a satisfactory resolution. In addition, there should be some suspense. We should care what happens in the story. In a well-plotted story, each event has a purpose: to move the story forward, to reveal character, establish mood, suggest theme, and so on.
The climax should “make sense” in terms of the action that leads up to it and the characters involved in it. The resolution should be satisfactory. Some endings leave the reader feeling tricked by a surprise outcome; even surprise or “twist” endings should be believable. Other endings disappoint by being too predictable; readers guess the resolution long before they finish reading. (from Traditions in Literature published by Scott, Foresman and Company))

In most stories there is conflict that must be resolved. Conflicts that pit character against character, character against nature (weather, animals), or character against forces of society (opinion, convention) are called external conflicts. Conflicts within the character such as between duty and desire, between opposing emotions, or between character and conscience are called internal conflicts. Conflict in a story is not entirely one or the other. (Traditions in Literature)

Extra Reading 

Read How to Write a book and  How to Create Conflict in the Story


Assignment 1

Write the plot summary of a story you plan to write. After you write the plot summary, check to make sure you have conflict. If you don't, add it.

When giving Feedback:

Read the plot summary. Answer the following questions:

Is it a good plot? Is there enough conflict? Can you think of conflict situations that can be added to the plot? If yes, give an example and write where it can be added in the plot.


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