What is a Plot?
Plot in a short story is considered as the most crucial element. A car will stop working when its engine is not there; similarly, a short story is never complete if there is no plot. Your plot is also like a road map for your short story as it will show directions of moving forward in a proper sequence. So, we can say that plot is basically that sequence of events which will happen in your story. Plot will help you in the organization of all the events which will take place in your story. Each event in your story will include:
What are the elements in a Plot?
Each story basically consists of five primary elements of a plot. A story is incomplete without a plot. We can say that a writer can never write a story without its plot. These five components of a plot are as follow:
These five elements of a plot will be discussed further:
This is the very first element in a plot. In this step, the main character is introduced to the readers. The readers will come to know that, “what is the setting of your story”.
Along with the characters and setting, the main conflict is also introduced in the initial step. So, the three main things introduced in the exposition are:
Before moving forward to the other steps of the plot, our readers should know that, “what is a conflict?” for better understanding of a short story.
· What is a Conflict?
Any story will become boring without a conflict. A plot of a story will only move forward if there is a conflict in the story. Conflict actually refers to all the problems faced by the character. The reader will feel connected to the story because of these obstacles. He will be eager to know about how the main character will overcome these problems and will achieve the goal. A conflict can be either internal or external.
Internal conflict in the story is basically referring to all those problems which are character’s internal obstacles whereas external conflict refers to those hindrances which are built up by other characters in the story. There are different types of conflicts which are:
1) Rising Action:
This is the second element of a plot in a short story. In this part, readers learn more about their characters and a conflict is build up. The story starts to move forward towards more complications. This part will tell us what our character will think upon in order to solve the problems. This part of a story becomes more tensed for the readers to see their favorite character facing crisis but they are also excited to know what will happen next in order to remove this tension.
After the rising action, comes the climax which is the major turning point in the story and in the life of the protagonist. Here our main character comes across his major challenge which can be in any form like his fear, enemy and so on. This is the point which leaves the reader in full curiosity that what will happen next in thestory.
3) Falling Action:
This is the fourth element of a plot which moves the story towards it ending. It comes after the climax. Here the readers will learn how the complications are getting resolved in the life of the main character. It will lead towards the conclusion of the story.
This is the final element of a plot which leads towards the final ending of the story. This ending can be done in two possible ways. A story can end with a tragedy or it can conclude with a happy ending.
Sad ending happy ending
vExample of plot analysis:
The plot of a short story “Hearts and Hand” written by the American writer William Sydney Porter can be summarized in the form of a diagram shown below: