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Literary Terminology

What does plot sequence means in literature?

Answer

Wiki User
02/19/2011

It means the main summary of the story in a point form.

The Elements of Plot Development

If an author writes, "The king died and then the queen died," there is no plot for a story. But by writing, "The king died and then the queen died of grief," the writer has provided a plot line for a story.

A plot is a causal sequence of events, the "why" for the things that happen in the story. The plot draws the reader into the character's lives and helps the reader understand the choices that the characters make.

A plot's structure is the way in which the story elements are arranged. Writers vary structure depending on the needs of the story. For example, in a mystery, the author will withhold plot exposition until later in the story. In William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" it is only at the end of the story that we learn what Miss Emily has been up to all those years while locked away in her Southern mansion.

What Goes into a Plot?

Narrative tradition calls for developing stories with particular pieces--plot elements--in place.

  1. Exposition is the information needed to understand a story.
  2. Complication is the catalyst that begins the major conflict.
  3. Climax is the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication.
  4. Resolution is the set of events that bring the story to a close.

It's not always a straight line from the beginning to the end of a short story. In Ernest Hemingway's story "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," the action shifts from past to present. This shifting of time is the way we learn what happened and why, and it keeps us interested in the story. But good stories always have all the plot elements in them.

Ask yourself the following questions regarding "A Jury of Her Peers," -- "Why did the author arrange the story elements the way she did? How does she control our emotional response and prepare us for reversals or surprises?"