Jump to navigation Jump to search For other uses, see Plot. Plot refers to the sequence of events inside a story which affect other events through the principle of cause and effect. The causal events of a narrative essay model can be thought of as a series of sentences linked by “and so”.
In the narrative sense, the term highlights the important points which have important consequences within the story, according to Ansen Dibell. The term is similar in meaning to the term storyline. Forster described plot as the cause-and-effect relationship between events in a story. According to Forster, “The king died, and then the queen died, is a story, while The king died, and then the queen died of grief, is a plot.
The first event is causally related to the third event, while the second event, though descriptive, does not directly impact the outcome. A story orders events from beginning to end in a time sequence. A tornado picks up a house and drops it on a witch, a little girl meets some interesting traveling companions, a wizard sends them on a mission, and they melt a witch with a bucket of water. A fabula is the events in the fictional world, whereas a syuzhet is a perspective of those events. This definition is usually used in narratology, in parallel with Forster’s definition. Today screenwriters generally combine plot with plot structure into what is called a treatment, sometimes referred to as the three-act structure, in which a film is divided into three acts: the set-up, the confrontation and the resolution.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle, writing in the fourth century BC in his classic book The Poetics, considered plot or mythos as the most important element of drama, even more important than character. He illustrates this with the question of a tragic character who is about to kill someone in his family. The worst situation is when the personage is with full knowledge on the point of doing the deed, and leaves it undone. In 1863, Gustav Freytag, a German writer, advocated a model based upon Aristotle’s theory of tragedy.