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Elements of Literature-Plot

Elements of Literature-Plot

Elements of Literature-Plot. Literature comprises various elements. These elements are also referred to as elements of fiction. They include plot, setting, style, characterization, Point of View, and themes. The elements are important because they help literature have an aesthetic value, appealing to the audience/ readership. Literature is didactic, implying that it entails using language in an aesthetic and orderly manner to communicate various human experiences. That being the case, the elements of literature help to make literature appealing and mimetic. The plot is one of the important elements of literature.

The Conventional Plot Structure

Plot refers to the flow of events in a literary work. In a plot, characters face external or internal conflicts, obliging them to engage in activities that drive a story to the climax and eventually to resolve conflicts therein. Plot refers to the arrangement of actions in works of fiction in an aesthetic way that helps a reader have a proper experience with the literary work they are reading.

The conventional plot structure comprises the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement/resolution. The structure assumes a triangular structure to show how the elements fall into place.



The image shows the elements of a plot
Plot Structure


Elements of Literature-Plot: What are the 5 types of plot structure?


An exposition gives background information about the characters, setting, and situations that help direct the flow of events. The exposition shows the setting (place and time where a story takes place), identifies the characters, and develops a conflict that helps the plot flow.

Rising Action

Rising action refers to the story’s development and conflicts, whose aftermath lead to the climax/ turning point. Rising action contributes to the complication of ideas, obliging readers to go on reading as they head for the climax.


Climax refers to the highest point in a story where the conflicts are at their highest point, and the literary artist heightens the interest of their readers. The events that occur in the climax arise from the rising action and dictate how the activities that follow dictate the ideas that help deal with the complications. The climax is the turning point, and Aristotle refers to it as Peripeteia.

Falling Action

Falling action refers to the events that follow the climax. The stage helps show how characters resolve the conflicts that have arisen in the climax before works of fiction conclude.


The resolution refers to the stage where the conflicts and complications from the rising action, climax, and falling action come to a solution, and authors alter them greatly. The characters resolve the conflicts positively or negatively. For instance, tragic heroes in tragedy die or come to their ultimate downfall.

Other Plots

Besides the conventional plot, media res is another plot structure in fictional works. The word is a coinage from Latin, meaning ‘amid things. The plot structure entails having conflicts and ideas at the beginning of a literary work, after which the introduction/exposition follows. The author often introduces the exposition by way of a flashback, detailing why the existing conflicts came to be.


In conclusion, the plot is an important element of literature/ fiction. It helps show the order of events in a literary work, contributing to the aesthetic nature of literature. The conventional plot structure is well structured into steps, including the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. In media res is an unconventional structure that some authors use to heighten the curiosity of the readers, obliging them to read more and understand why the existing events came to be.

References for plot structure

Blanca, C. F., Caselli, T., & Broersma, M. (2021). Finding Narratives in News Flows: The Temporal Dimension of News Stories. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 15(4)

Elements of plot – bainbridge island school district. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2022, from

Hutomo, S. A. (1970, January 1). The concept of catastrophe, Anagnorisis and Peripetia in The book of job. USD Repository. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from

Murphy, T. P. (2015). The fairytale and plot structure. Springer.

O-Joun, L., Eun-Soon You, & Jin-Taek, K. (2021). Plot Structure Decomposition in Narrative Multimedia by Analyzing Personalities of Fictional Characters. Applied Sciences, 11(4), 1645.

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