Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 28 May, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Story


core definition

A narrative relating actual or fictitious events, in prose form or verse, intended to interest, amuse, enlighten or instruct the reader or hearer.


explanatory context

The story refers to the events of a narrative that are given chronologically in the order of their 'actual' occurrence. This is distinct from the plot, which is the order the events are related in the telling of the story.


analytical review

Literary Devices (2017) distinguishes plot and story as follows:

Plot is a literary term used to describe the events that make up a story or the main part of a story. These events relate to each other in a pattern or a sequence. The structure of a novel depends on the organization of events in the plot of the story.

Plot is known as the foundation of a novel or story which the characters and settings are built around. It is meant to organize information and events in a logical manner. When writing the plot of a piece of literature, the author has to be careful that it does not dominate the other parts of the story.

There are five main elements in a plot. The first is the exposition or the introduction. This is known as the beginning of the story where characters and setting are established. The conflict or main problem is introduced as well. The second element of a plot is known as the rising action which occurs when a series of events build up to the conflict. The main characters are established by the time the rising action of a plot occurs and at the same time, events begin to get complicated. It is during this part of a story that excitement, tension or crisis is encountered. The third element of a plot is known as the climax or the main point of the plot. This is the turning point of the story and is meant to be the moment of highest interest and emotion. The reader wonders what is going to happen next. The fourth element of a plot is known as falling action or the winding up of the story. Events and complications begin to resolve and the result of actions of the main characters are put forward. The last element of a plot is the resolution or the conclusion. It is the end of a story and ends with either a happy or a tragic ending.


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

literature


Sources

Literary Devices, 2017, 'Plot definition', available at: https://literarydevices.net/plot/, accessed 28 May 2017.


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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