Message

Error
  • Table './litlover_jo151/gztn_jxlabels_maps' is marked as crashed and should be repaired SQL=SELECT l.label_id, l.title, l.alias FROM gztn_jxlabels_labels AS l LEFT JOIN gztn_jxlabels_maps AS m ON m.label_id = l.label_id WHERE l.state = 1 AND m.item_id = 8492 AND m.type_id = 1 AND l.access <= 0 ORDER BY l.ordering ASC

Course 6—Lecture

course_logo7

How to Read: Plot
Telling a good story—one that keeps readers turning the page and burning the midnight oil—doesn't just happen. Creating a plot is both an art...and a method. LitCourse 6 examines some of the specific tools writers use to develop their storylines.

Reading
William Faulkner—"A Rose for Emily"


LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
1

 

Plot—not as easy as it looks

How hard is it to tell a good story? Well, here's a little thought experiment. Has this happened to you?

Your excellent dream
You corral your friends together to tell them about a dream you had the other night. But wait...you're not half-way through when you begin to notice eyes glazing over. They're bored? How could they be? The dream was... incredible! Huh. Maybe it's how you're telling it.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
2

 

Plot—not as easy as it looks

Storytelling is an art, and much depends on plot, the way events in a story unfold. In this course, we'll  examine basic plot conventions, which authors follow to construct their stories. We'll look at . . .

Structure–the shape of a plot
Chronology—the timeline of events
Conflict—the element that creates tension
Revelation—the information revealed to readers.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
3

 

Plot—structure (classic)

course3-plot-pyrmid

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
4

 

Plot—structure (classic)

Exposition—background information; usually at the beginning, but not always.
Rising Action—series of events involving conflict, which creates tension and suspense.
Climax—the peak, or high-point, of tension, a turning point in the action.
Denouement—the falling-off of action after the climax; the conflict finds resolution.
Conclusion—a wrap-up, sometimes epilogue.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
5

 

Plot—structure (nonconventional)
Notice how Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily"—the story for this course—departs from the classic pyramid.

course6-plot-rose-for-em

 


LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
6

 

Plot —chronology

Chronology is the timeline of a story's events—the order in which events occur.

Linear time—forward forward movement of time; events move from past to present.

Non-linear time—forward and backward movement of time. The telling of events is disjointed, jumping back and forth between past and present. "Well, this happened...but before that, this happened...."

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
7

 

Plot —chronology

Realistic fiction tends to use a straightforward timeline, or chronology, moving from past to present.

Faulkner's story, however, uses a nonconventional timeline, starting—and ending—with Emily's death.

The next slide shows (1) events as they occur in time and (2) the same events as told to us in the story. The story starts in 1928 with Miss Emily's death...goes back to 1884...then forward to 1916... and so on. (All dates, except for Col. Sartoris's visit in 1894, are approximate.)

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
8

 

Plot—chronology

course6-plot-timeline

 


LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
9

 

Plot—Conflict

The clash of opposing forces creates conflict. Conflict creates tension, and tension creates suspense, the thing that keeps us turning pages.

There are two types of conflict. Most authors use a combination of the two.

Internal conflict
External conflict

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
10

 

Plot—Conflict

External conflict: pits characters against . . .
other characters
the community—its people, ideals, or traditions
nations or other political structures
nature—weather, disease, natural landscapes, or natural disasters.
Internal conflict: a struggle within a character
psychological, emotional, or spiritual turmoil

Authors frequently use a combination of internal and external conflict in the same story.


LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
11

 

Plot—revelation

What do you know . . . and when do you know it? That depends on revelation.

Writers decide how much information they want to reveal to readers and when they want to reveal it. They use 4 techniques to tell us—or hold back from us—facts about characters and events:

Exposition
Flashbacks
Foreshadowing
Suspended revelation

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
12

 

Plot—revelation

Exposition—an explanation providing background information—events that occurred prior to the onset of the story. It may come from a narrator, dialogue, or a character's internal thoughts. Usually, but not always, at the beginning.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
13

 

Plot—revelation

Flashbacks—also provide background information. They differ from exposition in that they take the form of an actual re-enactment of events. They come from characters' dreams, reveries or memories.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
14

 

Plot—revelation

Foreshadowing—an event or piece of dialog that hints at what is to come, a precursor or "pre-echo" of future events. Foreshadowing is subtle, often more obvious in hindsight or upon re-reading.

LitCourse 6
How to Read: Plot
15

 

Plot—revelation

Suspended revelation—authors withhold (or suspend) information to create suspense and surprise. Readers know only what the author wants to reveal...and when. Mystery plots are based on this technique, but all stories use it.

And now . . .
Congratulations!
You've reached the end of the Lecture. To continue
LitCourse 6, click "Reading" in the Course Tools menu.

Site by BOOM Boom Supercreative

LitLovers © 2014