Plot Construction 101: The Great Pyramid
No, not that Great Pyramid! This Great Pyramid! 😀
As you can see, it’s sort of more of a great triangle. But, as you don’t want a one-dimensional plot (and as “pyramid” sounds better than “triangle”), I will persist in calling it the Great Plot Pyramid. 😉
An Introduction to the Great Plot Pyramid
A simple plot pyramid is composed of five elements: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Exposition: The beginning – the “hook,” if you will. This is where the characters and setting are established, the conflict or main problem introduced. Of course, characters and setting must be built on for the entirety of the book, but they are begun in the exposition … as is the plot. During the exposition, you will meet a “inciting incident” in most novels; a point at which the plot moves on into rising action.
Rising Action: From the inciting incident to almost the end of the book, you have rising action. Rising action is the story part; what happens to your characters before they meet the climax.
Climax: The most exciting point of a novel, usually somewhere towards the end. This is where we find out who the murderer is, this is where true love’s kiss breaks the spell; this is what we’ve been building up to for most of the novel.
Falling Action: What happens after the climax. A winding down, though not too far down, of the plot. This shows the results of the character’s decisions.
Resolution: Also known as the denouement, this is the end of the story. The conflicts are resolved and all loose ends tied up. Way is laid for a sequel, if there is to be one. Some denouements take place in an epilogue.
That’s the basic pattern of any plot. 🙂
Next week (and for several weeks after), we’ll be going into more detail about the construction of a plot. For now, I’m going to post this late post (which I am writing on my Dad’s laptop, due to the fact that mine is crashing. 🙁