A fictional(ized) series of events that have some connection.
The quality of a plot
is often judged by how convincing that connection is established along the criteria of
- cause and effect (physics),
- emotional motivation (psychology) and
- reason (logic and ethics).
Failure to meet those criteria results in a Plot Hole
. If the first criterion is repeatedly violated, we have a Random Events Plot
, the second criterion is not met if someone acts Out of Character
, and a consistent failure to meet the third is called an Idiot Plot
. Deus ex Machina
is a desperate plot-advancing
technique that does not quite link events in a story in a convincing manner but at least keeps it going.
are usually driven by Conflict
, which has a strong tendency to make stuff happen. According to Aristotle
, together with Character
, is one of the six items present in any story.
A Plot Point
is an important event or state of affairs that the viewer or reader is required to be aware of in order to follow the plot
. An object or character whose only purpose is to drive the plot
(i. e. provide the connecting element between events) is called a Plot Device
. Similarly, a Plot Coupon
is an object that acts as a key to advance or resolve a plot
. In contrast to the Plot Device
, it is actively and purposefully used (and often also sought out in the first place) by the characters to reach a goal, while a Plot Device
doesn't necessarily require a character's volition to advance the plot
. See also MacGuffin
and Magnetic Plot Device
A popular definition of how a plot
as a whole should progress within the "running time" of a work is the succession of five acts
, rising action
, falling action
. However, a work of fiction can contain more than one plot
. This is called subplots or Plot Threads
In some formats, the plot
can take a back seat to other aspects that are deemed more important. For these cases see No Plot? No Problem!
and Excuse Plot
. Also bear in mind the Sliding Scale of Plot Versus Characters
, for when character development overtakes the overall plot.
For a list of prefabricated plots
, see Plots
. For basic, archetypal plots
, see The Seven Basic Plots
, Ten Movie Plots
and Master Plots
. Has nothing to do with pony backsides
Please note: As one of the major Super Tropes, the concept of Plot is omnipresent. There's no need to list Plot as a trope on any work's page or to list works here.