Evil Plotting Raccoon

Plot is not merely “a chronological arrangement of incidents” but a careful crafting of events so that they appear to be in “a causal and inevitable arrangement.” The plot of a story should represent a clear beginning, middle, and end, of the action according to Aristotle in his Poetics.

A Handbook to Literature, 11th edition, by William Harmon

Shapes of Plots

Freytag's Pyramid

Gustav Freytag’s pyramid is the most ubiquitous
visual representation of plot structure.


Kurt Vonnegut lecturing on the shapes of stories
University of South Carolina Aiken Lecture Series
September 23rd, 1997
Etherredge Center, Aiken, SC

Theme Tone Voice Conflict Point of View Figurative Language Characterization Setting Plot