The plot of the story is the most important part of your story, in other words, your story would be utter trash or non-existent without a plot. A well planned out and organized plot to your story can get readers to feel the urge to continue. This is something you don’t have to do, however they’re things you should take into consideration.
Episode provides some tips regarding this in their guides, I would recommend you read that as well.
NOTE: These are somethings of my opinion as your regular average Episode user, don’t send me hate for any inaccuracies or if you don’t feel the same way, I am just generalizing. If my explanations offend anyone, I am deeply sorry, they’re not directed towards anyone.
In most stories, their plot follows a similar roller coaster like structure. A lot of you might’ve already learned about the “Plot Roller Coaster” in school or have heard it somewhere, I’ll be mostly referring to that over the topic.
The 5 essential parts of a plot is:
- Exposition - Beginning/Introductory
- Rising Action - Conflict becomes present
- Climax - Turning point
- Falling Action - A solution is found, events/clues begin to make sense
- Resolution - The final outcome/conclusion
This might look familiar to what you would’ve learned in Elementary and Middle School, it might seem childish, but the concept behind it is really useful if you understand how it works. It’s like we’re back in school again. (Exciting.)
The orders that the 5 parts generally follow is (If it isn’t already obvious yet):
- Rising Action
- Falling Action
So, does order matter though? To answer your question, yes but actually no.
The order would need to be reasonable, it would not make sense if you start off with the resolution and then jump into the exposition, that’s just weird. I would not recommend you to jump over 2 parts of the plot at once.
Exposition - Rising Action - Climax - Rising Action - Falling Action - Resolution
Utterly Trashy Order:
Exposition - Resolution - Falling Action - Rising Action - Climax - Exposition
NOTE: The examples that I’ll use will be blurred due to spoilers for those who haven’t read Romeo and Juliet, if you’ve read it, feel free to read the examples. Romeo and Juliet has an odd plot line to ones to might’ve expected as most of you will notice.
An exposition is the introductory and or beginning of your story. It gives details on settings, background, identifies the character (It can be specific or vague). At this step of the plot, everything will seem average and normal to the character, nothing is out of place. Users would need this information to further understand the story.
Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are introduced, and explained on how their families hate each other.
The rising action sequence is when the something falls out of place compared to how the character’s regular day would be. This should be one of the longest parts of the plot, where tension, excitement, adrenaline and other emotions are built up to reach the climax. This should not be rushed, most readers like myself prefer it to slowly build up.
Romeo and Juliet gets married, Romeo then kills Juliet’s cousin.
The highest peak of the roller coaster can be easily compared to the climax. The rising action that built up leads the reader to this action/excited filled moment, the suspense is highest here. This should also be a turning point for a character, they’re usually face-to-face with the conflict (Literally or figuratively) but is still hesitant. Similar to the highest peak of a roller coaster, it “hesitates” and stops for a few seconds before going down fast.
Romeo is then banished. He is faced with the conflict but still has no resolution
The falling action or the face paced ride downhill is what you went on the ride for. There might be a few bumps close to the climax before actually going down, this is where most of the character’s questions and journey is finalized, and things start to make sense and fall into place. The conflict’s resolution becomes clear and often changes a character’s perspective on things.
Juliet’s family convinces her to trick Romeo into believing she’s dead. This, in a way, changes Romeo’s perspective on how he thought she was alive.
The ending of the story, the character’s story has ended or the problem is resolved. There are questions you’d have to ask at the end of your story:
- Did the character meet their goal?
- How is the character different from when they started out in the beginning?
- Did the character’s perspective change (This can mean they found a place for themselves in the world or sees it differently)?
They both die, BUT it leaves their families to mourn for their death. No, they did not meet their goal, nor did their perspectives really change, but you can’t really go further into a dead character’s story after their death (Which is why I added their story has ended above in my explanation.)
To have a plot, you’d need to have characters. Placing them as a protagonist or antagonist plays a huge part in the story, for more information, click on this topic.
You’d have to question, why is it a conflict or a win for them?
Remember, your goal is to leave your readers hungry for more after every episode.
Protagonist: Romeo & Juliet
Antagonist: Their families
- Know the 7 common plotlines that stories like to follow:
a) Overcoming the monster: Hero overcomes monster/bad guy
b) Rags to riches: The main character rises to success
c) The important quest: Character (or group) goes on a crucial mission
d) Homeward bound: Adventurer travels, has life-changing experiences and returns
e) Comedy: Chaos and confusion give way to resolution
f) Tragedy: Characters pay the cost of having flaws
g) Rebirth: Character emerges transformed from a process of self-discovery
Credit: https://books.google.co.za/books/about/The_Seven_Basic_Plots.html?id=tujDvUEpY10C&redir_esc=y - Summarized
Though originality gives a memorable and lovable story, adding common elements that the community uses can add a familiar context and storytelling. It is not plagiarism, readers who love a certain element in stories can find your story intriguing.
Don’t make the turning point come too soon, unless your story is specifically a short story, adding the turning point too soon shortens your story.
Add distractions, something to throw off your reader. This mostly applies to mystery elements in your story, but it can be applied to other elements.
Make the setting play a part, readers like myself like to see the characters acknowledging the setting’s existence when the setting plays a part in the story rather than just have it stand there and do nothing but be there for the aesthetics.
Well, this is all I’ve got for you. This might not be useful to those who are experienced but oh well. This is targeted towards beginning authors, feel free to point out any errors so I can fix it, as much as I’d love to see you fail, I’d hate to give out the wrong information.