Four Characteristics of a Plot

To pull all this together, let's look more closely at the four qualities that define a plot, that make a sequence of events a story instead of the haphazard occurrences of a frustrating Wednesday morning. They are:

1. A character with a goal and a conflict.

2. Movement forward in time.

3. Causality and connectedness of events.

4. Direction toward an answer or a resolution.

Tuck an awareness of these characteristics into the back of your mind as you read stories and as you devise your own plots. They will help you develop your intuitive sense of how a plot works.

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