Writing a story summary

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Writing a story summary

Dramatic structure InGustav Freytag, a German writer, advocated a model based upon Aristotle's theory of tragedy. This is now called "Freytag's pyramid," which divides a drama into five parts, and provides function to each part.

It shows how the characters relate to one another, their goals and motivations, as well as their moral character. During the exposition, the protagonist learns their main goal and what is at stake.

It starts with a conflict, for example, the death of a character. The inciting incident is the point of the plot that begins the conflict. It is the event that catalyzes the protagonist to go into motion and to take action.

writing a story summary

Rising action involves the buildup of events until the climax. In this phase, the protagonist understands his or her goal and begins to work toward it. Smaller problems thwart their initial success and their progress is directed primarily against these secondary obstacles. This phase demonstrates how the protagonist overcomes these obstacles.

The protagonist makes the single big decision that defines not only the outcome of the story, but also who they writing a story summary as a person. Freytag defines the climax as the third of the five dramatic phases which occupies the middle of the story.

At the beginning of this phase, the protagonist finally clears away the preliminary barriers and engages with the adversary. Usually, both the protagonist and the antagonist have a plan to win against the other as they enter this phase.

For the first time, the audience sees the pair going against one another in direct or nearly direct conflict. This struggle usually results in neither character completely winning or losing. In most cases, each character's plan is both partially successful and partially foiled by their adversary.

The central struggle between the two characters is unique in that the protagonist makes a decision which shows their moral quality, and ultimately decides their fate. In a tragedy, the protagonist here makes a poor decision or a miscalculation that demonstrates their tragic flaw.

Character's actions resolve the problem. In the beginning of this phase, the antagonist often has the upper hand. The protagonist has never been further from accomplishing their goal.

The outcome depends on which side the protagonist has put themselves on. The conflict officially ends.

7 Steps to Write a Short Story

Plot device A plot device is a means of advancing the plot in a story. It is often used to motivate characters, create urgency, or resolve a difficulty.

This can be contrasted with moving a story forward with dramatic technique; that is, by making things happen because characters take action for well-developed reasons. An example of a plot device would be when the cavalry shows up at the last moment and saves the day in a battle.

In contrast, an adversarial character who has been struggling with himself and saves the day due to a change of heart would be considered dramatic technique. Plot outline[ edit ] A plot outline is a prose telling of a story which can be turned into a screenplay.

Sometimes it is called a "one page" because of its length. It is generally longer and more detailed than a standard synopsis, which is usually only one or two paragraphs, but shorter and less detailed than a treatment or a step outline.

In comics, the roughs refer to a stage in the development where the story has been broken down very loosely in a style similar to storyboarding in film development.

This stage is also referred to as storyboarding or layouts. In Japanese manga, this stage is called the nemu pronounced like the English word "name". The roughs are quick sketches arranged within a suggested page layout.

The main goals of roughs are: In fiction writing, a plot outline is a laundry list of scenes with each line being a separate plot point, and the outline helps give a story a "solid backbone and structure".

A-Plot[ edit ] An A-Plot is a cinema and television term referring to the plotline that drives the story.

How to Write a Short Story from Start to Finish

This does not necessarily mean it is the most important, but rather the one that forces most of the action. Plot summary[ edit ] A plot summary is a brief description of a piece of literature that explains what happens.

In a plot summary, the author and title of the book should be referred to. Also, it is no more than a paragraph long while summarizing the main points of the story.Writing an Effective Book Summary (For the Back Cover, Data Sheets, or General Promotions) By Lori L.

Lake. Jul 19,  · How to Summarize a Story. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Summaries As You're Reading Writing Your Summary Community Q&A When you're writing a summary of a story it needs to be short, sweet, and to the point. Fortunately, this isn't hard if you follow certain guidelines%(41).

When you write a summary, you are answering the question, “What was the essay (or article, or lecture, or story, or video) really about?” Summaries vary in length depending upon the purpose of the summary and/or scope of the specific assignment given.

writing a story summary

Writing a Summary. A summary is condensed version of a larger reading. A summary is not a rewrite of the original piece and does not have to be long nor should it be long. To write a summary, use your own words to express briefly the main idea and relevant details of the piece you have read.

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