blog plots

Five types of plots

A plot is not a story, it is in fact a series of events providing conflict in the story. A plot is sometimes referred to as the ‘spine’ of a story. Plots are the results of choices made by the characters: the characters take action (or don’t) and events happen as a result.

Whether the story is about a quest, comedy, journey or tragedy there are five elements that help create a strong plot. Let’s now look at the five stages of the plot:


1. Exposition
Exposition is the beginning of the story and prepares the way for upcoming events to unfold. It is in this part of the plot, where major characters are introduced, the setting is established, and major conflicts of the story are revealed. This is also the part where the character’s backstory is presented for viewers to gain insight into the reasons why the main characters think and behave in a certain way.


2. Rising Action
It is that point where the main problem or conflict is revealed. During the point of rising action, the protagonist will struggle to face the conflict which could be internal (protagonist vs. self) or external (protagonist vs. antagonist, protagonist vs. nature/society) and chronicles how the main characters deal with the curveball that comes their way.


3. Climax
The climax is the turning point in the story, often centred around the protagonist’s most difficult challenge or their bleakest moment. The climax is the most exciting part of the story and initiates a turning point in the characters’ lives. The climax is where the protagonist receives new information, accepts the information – realizes it and may or may not necessarily agrees with it and then acts on that information.


4. Falling Action
It is the point that occurs immediately after the climax and reveals the details of the consequences good or bad, that the main characters must deal with after the turning point of events. It sets the stage for the resolution.


5. Resolution
Resolution is the part where the outcome of the event and the fate of the protagonist and antagonists are revealed. This part is where the protagonist resolves the conflicts and the loose ends of the storyline are tied up unless, there is a sequel planned wherein there are cliff hanger scenes to enable further development in the plot line.

Learn more about developing plots and creating compelling storylines through our dedicated course on screenplay writing curated to help you transform your story ideas into a film. Check out our screenwriting course, by clicking here.