Plot diagrams are one of the most critical tools for understanding literature and telling a good story. They are also one of the most essential English Language Arts skills. Students can use plot diagrams to figure out what happens in a story and who the main characters are. This helps them improve their analytical skills.
A plot diagram is a tool that helps divide a story into different parts. We can use them as guides for planning our own stories. We can also use plot diagrams to figure out how other people’s stories work. You can use the technology for creating the plot diagram—StoryboardThat—and even more functions.
Many students are required to learn how to use a plot diagram in their English classes, and for a good reason! It is a great way to learn how a short story or novel is put together. It might also help you figure out why the author wrote certain parts of the story the way they did.
Let’s get started.
What’s the Plot?
The plot is the series of events that pushes a character to make more complex and complicated choices and moves the story toward its climax and conclusion.
So, what does this mean, then? The plot’s specific structure lets authors take their readers on an exciting roller coaster ride.
That’s not just a dumb comparison. Like a roller coaster ride, the plot of any piece of writing will slowly build up the reader’s excitement, anticipation, and expectations until it reaches its peak. After this point, the story quickly goes downhill, giving the reader a sense of excitement and satisfaction before coming to a complete stop.
In more specific terms, the story is about what happens during particular periods. Every fact in the story must drive the plot. Whether it’s to make the reader think about things or to show how a character changes, each part of the plot has a specific goal.
How to Create the Plot Diagram
To make a plot with the necessary causal elements, we must first break it down into its parts. When we put these pieces back together in the correct order, the reader will see the whole picture slowly, making them want to keep reading.
The following things should be in a typical plot diagram:
1. Exposition or Beginning
In this part of the story, the author will set up the characters, including the main character, which is called the protagonist. The main character, or protagonist, is the one whose actions and decisions drive the plot. The author will also describe the setting at this time.
Most world-building won’t happen in the exposition, but the author will tell the reader enough to show what’s normal for the main character. So, if something goes wrong down the road, the reader will know. In our roller coaster example, the reader would fasten their seatbelt. They’re going to have a thrilling time.
2. Increasing Action, Which Shows What’s at Stake
This is where the author builds up to the story’s climax by raising the stakes. The main character will likely go through many scary things during the rising action.
It might look like the bad guy is always winning. The author will use the rising action to show what’s at stake and ensure the main conflict is clear to the reader. Now that we’re going up the roller coaster’s slope, we wonder if the drop will be worth it.
3. The Climax or Point of No Return
This is the worst problem the main character has ever seen. All of the problems that have happened up to this point have been leading up to this important moment.
At this point in the story, there is the most tension because the main conflict comes down to the protagonist’s most important choice. Most of the time, the climax will not only show the main conflict but also tie together all the smaller ones to create a moment of high tension. The roller coaster is at its highest point.
4. Action of Falling
Now you can take it easy. Most of the time, the events in the falling action are about how the choices made in the climax affect the rest of the story.
The denouement is a French word that means “tying up loose ends.” Your teacher may use it. During the falling action, a lot of the plot’s unanswered questions and loose ends will be tied together. Can you feel how exciting it is to fall?
In this part, the author sets up the “new normal.” The story’s events will show the readers how the characters change and adapt and how they have realizations that help them grow.
Now, these events come together in the resolution, giving the reader a chance to think about how the plot has changed the characters and the world around them. We’re coming to a stop now.