Bedford/St. Martin's virtuaLit Interactive Fiction Tutorial Notebook VIEW SEND
Fiction in Depth Approaches and Contexts
Select a StoryElements of FictionCultural ContextsCritical Approaches
Point of View
Style, Tone, and Language
Symbolism, Allegory, and Image


Most plots develop because a character is in a situation involving conflict. The conflict might be a personal dilemma, a pressing desire, a threatening enemy, a burdensome duty, or the loss of something important. In most stories, a series of character choices leads ultimately to a resolution of the problem. Often the resolution comes about because the external situation is different (what was desired is acquired, the dragon is slain, and so on). Just as often, and especially in contemporary stories, something has changed internally in the character after the story’s resolution. He or she has gained an insight, adopted a new philosophy, or come to terms with a negative emotion.

For this exercise, select one character and one situation from each drop–down menu. For example, your match might be this: “A recently divorced mother of three who suddenly needs to go to Ireland.”

Think of a basic plot outline using the character and situation you have selected. Based on this situation, what would happen first? what next? If possible, indicate what kind of climax or resolution might occur in this plot. Describe and discuss this basic plot outline, indicating why it is appropriate for the character and situation selected.

Bedford/St. Martin's | Order a Book | Instructor Registration | Contact Us | Contact Your Sales Representative