Narrative Arc

Definition:

Sometime simply called “arc” or “story arc,” narrative arc refers to the chronological construction
of plot in a novel or story. Typically, a narrative arc looks something like a pyramid, made up of
the following components: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

  1. Exposition: The introduction the story in which characters are introduced, setting is revealed.
  2. Rising Action: A series of events that complicate matters for the protagonist, creating a rise
    in the story’s suspense or tension.

      1. Rising action is tha series of events that lead to the climax of the story,
        usually the conflicts or struggles of the protagonist
  3. Climax: The point of greatest tension in the story and the turning point in the narrative arc
    from rising action to falling action.

      1. Climax is the point of greatest tension in a work of literature and the
        turning point in the action. In a plot line, the climax occurs after the
        rising action and before the falling action.
  4. Falling Action: After the climax, the unfolding of events in a story’s plot and the release
    of tension leading toward the resolution.

      1. The falling action in a work of literature is the sequence of events
        that follow the climax and end in the resolution. This is in contrast
        to the rising action which leads up to the plot’s climax.
  5. Resolution: The end of the story, typically, in which the problems of the story and of the protagonists are resolved.
      1. Resolution is the part of the story’s plot line in which the problem of the story
        is resolved or worked out. This occurs after the falling action and is typically
        where the story ends.

Narrative Arc – What is Narrative Arc in Literature?. By Mark Flanagan, http://contemporarylit.about.com/od/literaryterms/g/Narrative-Arc-What-Is-Narrative-Arc-In-Literature.htm

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