Lesson 2

The plot is the basic action of a story. A plot moves ahead in a series of events. Most plots develop in five stages, which are shown on the diagram, or drawing, below.


The exposition introduces the characters and the setting. It presents the problem, or conflict, that the main character faces. The main character may struggle with other characters, with society, with nature, or with his or her own emotions.

Rising Action

During the rising action, tension increases. Each action that occurs and each decision that is made should propel, or drive, the story forward. The story becomes more suspenseful and more complicated.

Climax and Resolution

The climax is the high point of the story. Tension is at its peak. The action is the most exciting.

Falling Action

The falling action moves the story toward its conclusion. Events that occur after the climax help tie up the loose ends of the story. The conflict is being settled.


The resolution is the conclusion of the story. The problem is solved.