Narrative Writing: Plot Structure

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Ever read a student's story that was just event after event after event and then a very sudden ending? They lack an understanding of a plot's structure. With the help of Finding Nemo, I break down how to set up a well-structured plot.


Students will add structure to their plots using the time-tested, five-act model. I introduce it using several student-friendly stories.

Students will base their plots around these five acts:

  1. Exposition - The setup before the actual story begins.
  2. Rising Action - A series of adventures which change the characters.
  3. Climax - The big test to see if characters have truly changed.
  4. Falling Action - Shows us the immediate results of the climax.
  5. Denouement - A parallel of the exposition. Shows us that the characters' changes have lasted.

We'll use Finding Nemo as a model of how these acts work together.


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