How to Write a Plot
Making your own plots might sound difficult, but it’s not. In order to write a plot:
- Think of a main idea, character, or situation.
- Think about how it might develop.
- Apply the five elements of plot.
You can turn anything into a story. For example, think of a time you were hungry; this would be the conflict in a situation.
I was hungry.
Elements of Plot:
- Exposition: I was hungry so I went into the kitchen to search for something to eat.
- Rising Action: I had to to figure out what food in the fridge hadn’t gone bad, wasn’t being saved by someone, and then figure out how to cook it.
- Climax: I cooked and ate it.
- Falling Action: The meal made me sleepy.
- Resolution: I went to take a nap.
Story Using Plot:
I was hungry so I went into the kitchen to search for something to eat. I had to to figure out what food in the fridge hadn’t gone bad, wasn’t being saved by someone, and then figure out how to cook it. I cooked and ate it. The meal made me sleepy. I went to take a nap.
As is shown in this example, a short story can be easily created by using the five elements of a plot.
When to Use Plot
Plot is the backbone of almost every creative literary piece and fiction, including plays, short stories, novellas, novels, memoirs, films, and other narratives. Many poems and songs have plots, but also, many do not. Although plot is mainly an element of storytelling, even the organization of a formal essay can often be seen as a kind of plot. Usually in formal essays, the author introduces a topic and a question or hypothesis (the conflict) and then the paper goes on a journey through various ideas in order to finally resolve the question or prove the thesis (the climax), and concludes (the denouement). It may be fun or useful to think of formal essays in terms of plots but keep in mind, that formal essays are not stories and should contain no fictional elements.
On the other hand, plot should not be used in technical papers and manuals which do not tell stories but instead inform and instruct.