An Analysis of Plot in a Story

 

PLOT : AN ANALYSIS

PLOT IS A SKELETON WE SAY, ALL OF THE DETAILS OF THE STORY HANG ON THE BONES OF THE PLOT. REALIZE THIS IS WRONG. PLOT IS A PROCESS, AND NOT AN OBJECT TO BE REFERRED TO IN METAPHOR FORM: 

Plot is dynamic, somewhat of a riddle, it is compromised of mystery. This genre of mystery is the most popular form of literature, so plot has much to say for itself.

Two clues we need to solve a riddle are the (what?) and the (why?).and we combine them.  For example : The story of the Choking Doberman the (what feeling) is the dog choking on something and the (why feeling) the vet asks the woman to get out of the house. when combined they make mystery in writing.

A riddle is a game between the writer and the audience, the writer gives clues to make the riddle challenging(the what feeling) and then, the audience has to solve.(the why feeling)

Plot is a force that connects words, sentences, paragraphs and organizes them into a certain sense of character, action and location.

In the beginning, you should have a destination plot of where you are going ;however  because writing is full of twists and turns, you can’t just develop plot all the way before you write. You can use plot on paragraphs after you write them and then put them together.

After you use defined a few paragraphs with the use of plot, you may be able to establish a pattern. When you establish a pattern of character,with plot then you will have a dynamic force leading to the characters intent and motivation.

Plot patterns are so basic to human behavior, that they havent changed in 5 thousand years. Behavior is just the first step towards plot.

Back way in the day, a story was just a sequence of events and how they happened, plot then grew into a a reformed story with a pattern of action and reaction. the who, what, and why always make up plot.

Making one action the result of another (cause and effect)  is also another example of plot’s who, what and why.

“The reader shouldn’t say why plot will fill that void. That is the full responsibility of the writer.”

“People prefer order to disorder in fiction.”

“Life is not plot, stories are. Stories are a unified action that creates a whole made up of a beginning, middle and end.”

The Story Format

–Initial Action — Intent — Rising Action — Reversal — Recogntion — Climax — Falling Action — Denounment —

Beginnning –

Initial Action – Problem that must be solved. EX : “Two English Gentleman” Clive gets all the mail and Geoffrey does not.

Intent – What does my character want then? (happiness or misery?) Start Plot then after describe what charccter wants. Ex: Geoffrey wants mail, wants to be happy and fufilled. After Intent is established …

Middle –

Rising Action – Character pursues goal. Ex:  Geoffrey wants to buy the letter from Clive.

Reversal – Character runs into problems succeding. Ex: Clive attempts to get the letter back and Geoffrey refuses.

Recogntion – Relations between characters change as a result of the reverse. Reversal is the event and Recogntion is the irreversable emotion change between the characters brought about by the event. Ex the two fight over the letter.

End –

Falling Action – A series of statements or ideas in an ascending order of force or intensity,especially the conclusion of a crisis and the turning point of the plot and dramatic action.

Denounment – a final part of a story or drama in which everything is made clear,exposed and no questions or surprises remain. It is the logical outcome to the story and it makes sense.

”Plot holds everything together, so first learn all of the plot rules, then try to break them.”

IF THERE IS NO TENSION THERE IS NO PLOT

Tension is the first lowest plot factor – when an intention is denied the effect is this.

The second lowest plot factor is creating tension through opposition, a simple disagreement is local tension and the screenplay, novel is made up of these.

However a long lasting tension is VASTLY more integral to the main plot; this creates tension inside of the local (small tension). These feelings can figure out the main conflict.

 The third lowest plot factor is making the tension grow and grow as you reach one climax, If it is the first climax in a few or the main climax.

THE TENSION GROWS AS THE CHARACTER GOES THROUGH HURDLES/CHALLENGES AND BECOMES STRONGER OR MAYBE WEAKER. THE SERIOUS CONFLICTS ( FORWARD TENSIONS) ARE ONES THAT DEAL AND  AFFECT CHARCTER IN A MAJOR WAY.

The writers job is to tell these challenges very compelling and interesting.

Example :

SETUP : Man meets Woman

INTENT/RISING ACTION : Man asks Woman to marry him

REVERSAL : WOMAN SAYS NO (LOCAL TENSION, CHALLENGES, AND PLOT) (BUILD ON THIS WITH MANY REVERSALS)

RECOGNITION -SHE REALLY MEANS IT, IF HE DOESN’T DO THIS OR THAT TO MAKE IT BETTER (FORWARD TENSION,CONFLICT)

CLIMAX – Major tension, conflict is resolved in a rush of all tensions together, readers and writers have been thrusted towards intense- incredible climax, ALL HELL breaks loose

Fatal attraction is a good example of tensions : Michael Douglas keeps on pushing away a woman(local tension) but, her acts get more and more hostlie and desperate (until release of a forward tension, her killing and kidnapping his kids.This creates the major conflict by example of a few local tensions and how  the stakes grow larger) In climax ( she breaks into his house and tries to kill his wife.)

THE deepest tension, however comes from impossible situations where there is no answer, no winner or loser no yes or no.

The 4th lowest plot factor – make CHANGE OF A CHARCTER the point of the story. Events change to force a CHANGE IN A PERSONALITY OF A CHARACTER. Fatal Attraction could have showed from beginning to end how events affect a family and how they are now. What will happen to the charcter’s treating of his family when he or she changes? It is like a second plot inside of major plot.

When you write, use the best part of your mind – just let yourself go.

Don’t use structure right away ,wait for a full page or five before you use structure and plot after writing or if you get stuck. So you should write first, then save all  the important things to keep up with the plot you have created.

Reviewing after, just make sure all you have can always advance the story or erase it and put it on ignore.

When you save something for plot, you can choose to explain it then and there or you can let it go off later. Think of it like a game that you can play to let certain things go first when you decide to use plot.and structure

.From there you can really have fun, if you let something go off later like in the third act or 30th page when you first explained it vaguely in the 5th page. It is called “casually letting something go off into detail” 

This way a reader almost doesn’t notice, but they should vaguely remember it in the 5th page however.

In Shirley Jackson’s story of the Lottery, this catches us off guard because we think the lottery is “good” but in truth of the story it is very bad and we were fooled.

The writing world you(I) create is different from your own personal life. being creative  is free writing. At the end of the scene it has to be organized and structured and be close to plot to push and carry the story along.  Don’t dilute the dramatic effect by digressing.   

But you can put very small things after using plot and structure that don’t have to carry the story along by :

“casually letting something go.”

Examples of movies that let you know something and surprise you at the end? SAW, THE ISLAND——————-

It appears that some characters and conversations or items are important in the beginning, but the reader or watcher will read or see just how important it is later.

An item could be (the almanac for back to the future) 

A mention of a character could be (a mighty hero)

A conversation could be ( about a financial situation)

*We expect things to happen out of the blue in real life but we won’t tolerate it in fiction :

1) The world we create has to have rules.

2) The reason something happens but be evident in fiction, Readers won’t tolerate the unknown. Readers won’t like a wacky solution to a problem either.

“Plot asks a question and the climax must answer it”

Keep the character in the action all the time, the circumstance of the action must be solved by the character and not the character be solved by the circumstance of action. We (the readers and watchers) we be happy that happy and not sad then.

METHODS OF WRITING

1)Some writers have a method of writing where they would be meticulous and organized and structured, who would lay down all their work on index cards before writing a single word.

2)Some writers would begin at the end and know the ending before writing

3)Some writers would begin at start to write to the end.

“You will create your own pattern of plot and find out what works.”

TWO KINDS OF PLOTS

Plots of the body (violence, force)

Plot’s of the mind (fraud)

We’ve liked mind over force always.

Foundation of comedy is fraud – (double meanings, confusion)

“Is your story an action story or does it deal more with the inner workings of character and human nature?”

Action stories –have sheer physical action and violence and force.

Character stories – have sheer mental attributes that can constitue fraud of the mind to fool the reader and watcher.

In action movies – characters are reduced to a small amount of charcter just advance the story. The Main character doesn’t change as much which is convenient for a sequel.

DEEP STRUCTURE OF THE STORY

The moral system is included in central concept or idea to it’s finish mostly but for some shows it is portrayed that it is good to steal or commit crime and in the end of the story ( Oceans Eleven, Catch Me if You Can) It is portrayed very intelligently that really did good and they didn’t. They fool the audience in this respect. You can go either way but it has to end moral to be good and the audience would like it.

 In the Film Shane, He has strong behavior and he doesn’t waiver a second, all the way to the end. We recognize this proper behavior and like it in a storycontrary to normal life when we could only have our OWN ways individually how things should be.

The key to Deep Structure is the Argument – Dealing with complications in the world, we simplify them into arguments and we deal by making most things- DUALISTIC AND SOLVING THEM LIKE A STORY WOULD FOR AS WELL.

There are always two arguments to an argument : one for each side of the issue.

Examples of dualistic ideas are ugly/beautiful, light/dark, rich/poor. Good vs Bad is the easiest cliché. One charcter is kind hearted, brave, sincere, and on a mission and the other character is dark hearted,cowardly, insincere and wants to stop good from accomplishing.

Duality between opposing forces is a given, Each character must have a good and bad side.

A GOOD STORY WILL EXPLAIN BOTH GOOD AND BAD SIDES OF THE PERSON, QUESTION THEM AND ANSWER THEM”

The most controversial ideas today are GOOD VS GOOD, divorce, revenge, and temptation. these can be used for a real look of catching attention. other good arguments are when the solution is neither wrong or right and there is no simple solution. EX : do you break the law for the greater good?

There are always two arguments to an argument : one for each side of the issue. The authors job is to not take sides, but be neutral and also symphathetic from both sides. You can capture both sides in the middle of the conflict and make that compelling!. That would be the moral thing the audience would want .The reader or watcher would then fall for the circumstance and try to see how the character solves his/her problem of the circumstance.

Develop an argument that is not solved yet and split it into two sides,and make the characters compelling in solving the circumstance against all other forces.

We know who is supposed to win and it is the writers job to turn that over on the reader. But the writer may just dazzle us with action, but strip the action and there is nothing left.

Deep tension comes from impossible situations where there is no answer, no winner or loser no yes or no. however most movies have a duality that is common.

Think you are a god on paper, and that your mind has unlimited opportunities for you to set straight.

A story must have a force and an opposing force period.

Soapbox shit is not true fiction.

If you get your characters in development to say what you want them to say , you are not making a real character.If you want the world to hear what you have to say, go write an essay or article.You must make the character say what they want to say.

THE STORY AND IT’S CHARACTER DYNAMICS

Some elements of character are the most important to plot when a character “does that?” He becomes that character and then that starts plot.

CHARACTER DYNAMICS

A) ALFRED meets B) BEATRICE, B) BEATRICE tells him to get lost

add another character – C)CHUCK B)BEATRICE LOVES C)CHUCK

The charcter dynamic is six By adding 3 relationships to each A, B, C.

A’s Relationship to B,

B’s TO A

B’s TO C

C’s TO B

A’s TO C

C’s TO A

Add a 4th charcter D) Dana. Dana loves Alfred.

Now the charcter dynamics is MORE.

ALFRED’S Relationship to BEATRICE,

BEATRICE’S “”TO ALFRED

BEATRICE’S“” TO CHUCK

CHUCK’S TO BEATRICE

ALFRED’S TO CHUCK

CHUCK’S TO ALFRED

DANA’S TO ALFRED

ALFRED’S TO DANA

BEATRICE’S TO DANA

DANA’S TO BEATRICE

CHUCK’S TO DANA’

DANA’S TO CHUCK

Too many charcters may cause you to forget one or two no matter what.

The dynamics of these charcters is popular but different scenarios happen to groups of two or three .

Usually two people have adventures and the other two have adventures and the ideas are combined. a lot of the times three charcters are involved but split up until combined.

3’s are popular because uaually a charcter tries three times and get’s the same result.and also three times makes for good tensions, but four can get boring. Three is a powerful number, humor, poetry , music and stanzas.

Usually three charcter’s with a dynamic of six is just right.

 In Ghost, an example of character dynamic is (A) Demi Moore relates to (B)Goldberg indirectly ( through Goldberg to her dead boyfriend (C)Swayze

(C)Swayze relates directly to (B)Goldberg and indirectly through (B)Goldberg to his living girlfriend (A) Demi 

(B) Goldberg relates directly to both(C) Swayze and (A)Demi Moore

The character makes one choice and there is a logical connection, the reader will have a motivation to find that out. Don’t be too predicable in the solution, because then it will be boring. The charcater’s behavior should surprise us. ( why did she do that?) the behavior should’nt however surprise us at the end because there is a morality that we should be very familiar with.

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