What are the Elements of a Story?

Elements of a Story

Hi, and welcome to this video lesson about stories and what makes a story. Today we’re going to talk about what we mean by words like plot, conflict resolution, and character development. Let’s dive right in, shall we? First, what do we mean by plot?

The term plot refers to the series of events that take place in the story. The events in the story may take place in one location, or many locations. Sometimes they’re in the order that they occur, and sometimes flashbacks cause the story to jump around. A story may take place in a short amount of time or over many years.

Every story is different, but a story always has to start somewhere and that first event in a story signals beginning of the plot. Two characters may be simply talking at the opening of a story, which is the first step in the plot of the story. Characters may then hear a loud noise and rush outdoors, which is the next event in that story.

Stories may vary in length from half a page to a novel length, but they all follow a progression of events that the author winds together to form the plot. Now that we have a general understanding of plotline, let’s go ahead and start talking about conflict.

The term “problem resolution” or conflict resolution in reference to a story is the part of the story that resolves, or fixes the initial conflict that began the plot. The solution may have come about through direct action by characters in the story or the situation may have been resolved by external forces.

The problem in the story may have been a key conflict between characters, or it may have been part of a bigger issue. For example, two characters may be trying to decide whether or not to turn in a lost wallet. If they then lose the wallet, it solves the problem for the two characters, however that may simply be the beginning of a whole new conflict as other people ask them about the wallet, or one of the characters decides to start looking for it all over again. The author of a story uses problem resolution to show progression of events in a story.

Enough about conflict resolution, let’s start talking about characters and character development within stories. The traits of a character may include how they act and physical characteristics. For example, a character might be outgoing, which means he or she likes to talk a lot, or have bright red hair; these are both character traits, one regards their personality and one regards their physicality.

Authors use character traits to help the readers learn more about how the character acts, what they look like, etc. By comparing the different character traits in a story, the reader can see similarities and differences between characters. The author includes character traits to help the reader understand why a character might act a certain way in the story.

For example, a character who is shy may not want to talk with a lot of people in a new classroom, but a character who is outgoing may want to talk with many. I hope that helps. Thanks so much for watching this video lesson, and until next time, happy studying.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 14, 2019