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2. Plot Plot is what happens in a story. “Then, the alien sneaked aboard the space station.” “What happened next?” You and your friends probably talk about the plots of movies, books, and TV shows.

3. Resolution Climax Basic Situation Series of Events Plot: Plot Structure Plot is the story’s skeleton, or structure. Most plotshave four parts, which are like building blocks. Jen goes home happy. The team makes it to finals—and wins! Her team loses a game and then wins five games. Jen wants her soccer team to win the state championship.

4. Plot: Plot Structure Conflict is a struggle between opposing characters, forces, or emotions. The conflict is usually revealed during the first building block of the plot—the basic situation.

5. Plot: Plot Structure In an externalconflict, characters struggle against something or someone outside themselves. Internalconflicts happen inside a character’s mind.

6. Plot: Plot Structure Look at the pictures below. Which represent(s) an externalconflict? Which represent(s) an internal conflict? external external internal

7. Plot: Plot Structure A plot’s second building block involves a series of events that makes it hard for the characters to solve their problems or work out their conflicts. Sometimes these events are called complications.

8. Plot: Plot Structure The plot’s third building block is the climax—the story’s most exciting or emotional moment. The climax is the point at which the conflict is decided one way or another.

9. Plot: Plot Structure The resolution is the last part of the story. The resolution ties up loose ends. What happened to the characters after their conflict was resolved? The firefighters couldn’t save the building, but . . . they saved a life.

10. Plot: Plot Structure You can use a simpleplotdiagram to show what happens in a story. Why is the basic situation at the bottom of the diagram? • It is the first thing you read—it sets the stage for the action. • You meet the main characters and discover what they want.

11. Plot: Plot Structure A series of events leads to the story’s climax and ends with its resolution. Why does the climax of the story appear at the top of the diagram? • The series of events leads up to it. • It is the “high point”—the most exciting part—of the story.

12. Plot: Plot Structure Quick Check • Where in the plot would this scene probably occur? • basic situation • series of events • climax • resolution Pedro packed his last pair of jeans in his duffel bag and carried it out to the car. It was time to leave for college. His mom and dad—and Marisol—were waiting with sad smiles on their faces. Pedro hugged Marisol and climbed into the car after saying goodbye. He was surprised to find a little box on the seat next to him. Inside it, on a cushion of cotton balls, was Marisol’s lucky letter charm—M for miracles. [End of Section]

13. Plot: Suspense Suspense, or anxious curiosity,is what keeps you reading to figure out what is going to happen next. If a character solved his or her problem too quickly or easily, there would be no suspense in the story.

14. Plot: Suspense Ali and Coby are going for a hike in the forest. What might make their story more interesting, exciting, or suspenseful?

15. Plot: Foreshadowing Another way that writers create suspense is to foreshadow, or hint at, the story’s future events. If someone throws a brick through a character’s window, we have a hint that something dangerous may happen in the character’s future.