The plot of a story generally follows a specific structure and includes these five elements:
Exposition: What you need to know. Background information is presented, main characters are introduced, and the conflict is established.
Rising Action: The conflicts and challenges encountered by the characters. How they respond keeps the story moving forward.
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Climax: The turning point in the conflict. Tension builds until the main character must make a decision or take action that determines the direction of the story.
Falling Action: The events that occur after the main character makes the key decision in the story.
Resolution: The resolution is where all the questions are answered and loose ends are tied, providing a clear ending.
A plot diagram illustrates where these elements fall in a narrative.