English Assignments


Plot in Fiction

This lesson will define the key element of plot in fiction.

Common Themes in Fiction

Painful experiences can be valuable.

Struggle makes a person stronger.

Not all good things can last – it is important to appreciate them while they are here.

Fear can ruin a relationship.

The past has a major impact on the present.

Nature can prove our vulnerability.

A person’s identity is more than his place in society.

A person creates her own destiny.

Love requires sacrifice.

The natural world provides us clarity and understanding of ourselves.



The series of events in a story.

Is driven by conflict and suspense.

Engages readers as they ask “what will happen next?” and “how will it affect the characters?”

Suspense – A sense of anticipation or excitement about what will happen and how the characters will deal with and be changed by the events.

Examine the plot diagram on the previous slide of this presentation.

Exposition: the opening of the story, which introduces characters and sets the scene.

Conflict: The major conflict is introduced, which causes the events to “rise,” or become more suspenseful.

Rising action: Events with increasing suspense, leading to the climax.

Climax: The story’s crisis moment, where the two opposing forces meet finally and confront their conflicts.

Falling action: Success or failure met, the story winds down.

“Resolution”: Some degree of closure as the story ends intentionally.

Elements of Plot

Additional Elements of Plot

Flashbacks: Moving back in time to reveal information about characters or conflict.

Protagonist: The character with whom the reader is meant to most closely relate. They are driven by an objective, which leads to the central conflict in the story.

Usually, the protagonist changes as a result of the conflict faced in the story. This is revealed in the falling action or resolution.

Foreshadowing: Hinting about upcoming plot events, building suspense.

Antagonist(s): The force(s) operating in opposition to the protagonist.

Remember that sometimes conflict is internal, in stories that focus on a protagonist struggling with a decision or change.