Now that we’ve discussed plot structure, as well as the typical components of a plot or story (i.e. exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution), now is as good a time as any to identify these components in your own, true stories. Prior to this, your story likely only had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Let’s see if we can resolve the story a bit more refined. As a reminder, recall that a traditional story arc follows certain stages, as seen below in the plot mountain diagram:

Lecture 03 Closure Narrative.001

Just to be clear, this is a very rigid, traditional approach to understanding narrative, and stories can be much less structured, or buch this traditional structure entirely. Despite this, here in the Western world, we tend to apply these stages in one way or another, making stories out of everything we see and hear. That said, you are free to tell your story anyway you want. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Break up your story to identity these 6 points in your story:

    1. Exposition: setting the scene and introducing the characters
      • e.g. "I was walking with friends…” From this you know that “I’m” in it, as well as my friends, and we’re in a place where walking is acceptable.
    2. Inciting Incident: an incident happens that sets the story into motion and introduces the central ‘problem’’:
      • e.g. "he appeared quietly in the air above, an eagle with a white head.” Clearly this story is about an eagle, which can be either a good or bad sign of things to come.
    3. Rising action: a series of positive and/or negative events that leads the characters to their ultimate destiny.
      • e.g. “A rabbit appeared from a hole in the stone wall to our right. I said, 'look the eagle is gonna catch that rabbit.' He did catch it, with an outstretched claw, and pulled the rabbit up into the air."
    4. Climax: The singular event that changes life for some or all characters forever after.
      • e.g. "the eagle ripped out the throat of the rabbit. Blood shot out a few yards into the air."
    5. Falling Action: A series of events after climax that relax the tension introduced by the rising action.
      • e.g. "I looked away in fright…”
    6. Resolution: The end of the story, wherein the central problems are typically solved or put to rest, for better or for worse.
      • e.g. “and the dream ended."
  2. Deliver: 

    For the sake of closure as discussed in last weeks reading, have a minimum of six compositions, one for each plot point: 1.)The intro, 2.)Inciting incident, 3.)Rising action, 4.)Climax, 5.)Falling Action, 6.)Resolution.
    • A few examples:
    • "I was walking with friends…” Composition #1
    • "I was walking with friends…” Composition #2
    • "he appeared quietly in the air above, an eagle with a white head.”
  3. Media:

    I go into a discussion of media at length here. To summarize, you are free to create these compostions using any medium – such as collage, drawing, digital illustration, painting, photography, cut paper – and any technique you wish: e.g. basic geometric forms, complete abstraction, collage of found objects, realistic rendering, cartoon, etc.

Note: You can produce more sketches if you feel it is logically necessary for the sake of closure.