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Plot Construction 101: Rising Action

by Kellyn Roth |
May 18, 2016

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Well, I’ve skipped two weeks because I was nervous about writing this post. I wasn’t sure what to say! I was thinking, “I’ve gotten myself into this … and now I don’t know how to get myself out!” But now I’m just going to write this post, and if you have anything to add – or worse still see a mistake I made – please let me know and I’ll add it in! 🙂
Now we come to rising action!

According to Wikipedia:

In the rising action, a series of events build toward the point of greatest interest. The rising action of a story is the series of events that begin immediately after the exposition (introduction) of the story and builds up to the climax.


Now that we’ve got that basic definition to work from, we can get on to a more “in-depth” look at rising action.

Most of a novel is taken up by rising action; over 50% at the very least. One big rule about rising action is TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure the road isn’t too easy for your characters to travel on.
Generally, rising action follows a similar pattern to the one illustrated above. It looks a lot like a stairway rising up to the climax.
The steps represent series of events that help the main character get closer and closer to his/her goal, which is fixing the problem introduced by the inciting incident. With every step, the protagonist gets closer to goal-solving. The more steps, the longer the novel.
Steps don’t always mean “first find the golden arrow, then find the magic bull, then find flood the king’s stables.” They’re also things like … oh, a first kiss in a romance, or a first clue in a mystery, or a first killing in a drama. I’m sorry; it’s late and my mind is wondering and weird.
Of course, the character is sure to run into problems! These are plot twists: unforeseen happenings that get in the protagonist’s way.
This occurs when the protagonist is subjected to the negative interference of the antagonist, or some other problem, such as unfavorable weather conditions or a flu. 😉 Seriously, though, there are a lot of things that can cause a plot twist … they’re very varied.
Since I’m running out of time (I need to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep!), I’m not going to say any more.
~Kellyn Roth
p.s. As I’ve said before, if you think anything should be added to this post, don’t hesitate to let me know! I would love to hear what your opinions! Please comment! 😀

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10 Responses

    1. That’s sad. I mean, by the time you’ve climbed all the first steps, you’re tired, and then they get harder and harder ……. so mean of Rod and Staff. 😉

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