PLOT (Problem, Event, Solution)


Plot - The structure of a story. Or the sequence in which the author arranges events in a story. The structure of a five-act play often includes the rising action, the climax, the falling action, and the resolution. The plot may have a protagonist who is opposed by antagonist, creating what is called, conflict. A plot may include flashback or it may include a subplot which is a mirror image of the main plot.

Exposition - In drama, the presentation of essential information regarding what has occurred prior to the beginning of the play.

Narrative Hook – The narrative hook is the point in the story the author snags the reader's attention with the main conflict.

Rising Action -The part of a drama which begins with the exposition and sets the stage for the climax. In a five-act play, the exposition provides information about the characters and the events which occurred before the action of the play began. A conflict often develops between the protagonist and an antagonist. The action reaches a high point and results in a climax, the turning point in the play.

Climax - The decisive moment in a drama, the climax is the turning point of the play to which the rising action leads. This is the crucial part of the drama, the part which determines the outcome of the conflict.

Falling Action - The falling action is the series of events which take place after the climax. The falling action of a drama leads to the conclusion

Resolution - The part of a story or drama which occurs after the climax and which establishes a new norm, a new state of affairs-the way things are going to be from then on.

Character Motives (Words, Traits, Motivation, & Actions)


1. What are the conflicts and their resolutions that may lead us to a better understanding of the

character? What problems does he face? Resolutions?

2. How does your character relate to other characters in her story? That is, who do they think of

him/her? What do they say? How do they act toward him/her? Look closely at these

interactions to learn more about your character.

3. Is your character credible? Could he/she actually be a living, breathing human being? How

does the author make the character seem so real?

4. How does the author describe your character, if, in fact, he actually gives description? What,

then, is the author’s opinion of the character? Pay attention to physical/behavioral

characteristics given by the author.

5. How does your character act? Are his actions consistent with his speech? If not, what is

significant about any inconsistencies? Is your character strong or weak?

6. What does the character say about himself, about his situation? What insight do we gain

about the character from what he says about himself? How does the character present this

information (a confidante, a soliloquy, dramatic monologue, dramatic dialogue, first-person


7. What is your reaction to this character? Are you sensitive to him and to his situation? Do

you feel empathy toward him/her? Does he deserve what he “gets” in the story, or is his/her

fate undeserved?

8. What method of character disclosure is used in the story you’ve chosen to discuss?

9. What other elements of fiction seem to be important in this story (e.g., point of view, setting,

plot, style….)? Of course character is important in this story, but are there any other

elements which deepen our understanding of character?

10. Does your character undergo a change (or changes)? Do we see, then, several sides to this

character, or does he remain static? That is, what is his purpose in the static? Is there any

significance in this? Is he/her simple or complex?

11. Is your character a major character in the story, or does he play a minor role? If minor, what

does he “do” in the story? That is, what is his purpose in the story?

12. What is your character’s CONSISTENT PRINCIPLE?

13. Does this character say anything to you personally? How do you relate to him/her?

14. What motivates your character to action? What has shaped him, his thoughts, his feelings,

his philosophies?

15. What are the central incidents in the story that reveal primary characteristics of your


Theme (Lesson Learned By Character)  

Finding Theme

Notice repeating patterns and symbols. Sometimes these lead you to the theme.

What allusions are made throughout the story?

What are the details and particulars in the story? What greater meaning may they have?

Remember that theme, plot, and structure are inseparable, all helping to inform and reflect back on each other. Also, be aware that a theme we determine from a story never completely explains the story. It is simply one of the elements that make up the whole.

Sequence (The order of events, or instruction.)

Look for signal words like first, next, last, before, after and

finally to help you figure out the sequence. You can also use

other word clues in the text or your own knowledge, “What I

know clues,” to find the sequence.







Once that was done,

Once we finished,

When we finished,

When that was over,

At 2:00,

In Social Studies,

During math time,