For example, a teetotalling family living in a hard-drinking community would show the conflict between the individual and the society. Feuding brothers in a civil war would indicate religious and political conflict. So would pioneers in a drought or flood. Identify a theme: What is your book about? It is more than just the story of 'X' family. Early Stages – Forming and Nesting I. Coupling Family Stage marker: The family begins at the establishment of a common household by two people; this may or may not include marriage.
- A Short Story: A Story Of A Scary Story 1070 Words 5 Pages “Uncle Chuzube, uncle Chuzube can you tell us a scary story,” the five children in the room said in unision. “Alright, alright kids I’ll tell you one scary story then bedtime, okay?” Uncle Chuzube said. “Hooray,” the children cried.
- A good example of a positive feedback system is how an automatic pilot system is used in most commercial airplanes. The automatic pilot process provides a computer that is actually flying the plane constant feedback about required information regarding the planes speed, altitude, direction and so on.
- These stories have their origins in oral story-telling traditions and the prose anecdote, a swiftly-sketched situation that comes rapidly to its point. The history of this kind of stories dates back to the oral story-telling traditions. Modern trend in them emerged as their own genre in the early 19th century. They tend to be less complex than.
The plot is, arguably, the most important element of a story. It is literally the sequence of events and, in that sequence, we learn more about the characters, the setting, and the moral of the story.
In a way, the plot is the trunk from which all the other elements of a story grow. Let's explore how the plot of a story unfolds. We'll see how you can formulate your own plot points and enjoy some examples from literary giants.
Elements of a Story's Plot
Even though the plot is, essentially, the events that take place in a story, there is a specific plot structure that most stories follow. In fact, there are five main plot elements to be aware of. With these elements in mind, you stand on the precipice of fantastic story formation.
This is the start of the story, where we meet the main character or characters, understand the setting, and deduce the conflict.
For example, we might meet a main character, named Fiona, who just moved to Ireland, and is writing her first book. There, we meet the main character, understand she's in a new country, and will watch her push to overcome the trials and tribulations that come from each of these new elements.
2. Rising Action
In the rising action, we watch a series of events unfold. There's not much in a story if everything works out perfectly and there are zero bumps in the road. We need a little conflict.
Conflict can come in many forms. Continuing with Fiona, perhaps she's battling some sort of internal conflict. We might see her doubt her decision to move so far away from home. Or, with regard to her book, perhaps she submits it to her agent and it's torn to shreds.
Maybe she meets some devilish Irish lad who distracts her from her primary purpose and she must realign her priorities. The possibilities for action - and conflict - are endless.
The climax of a story is the peak of the action. At this point, we've watched the main character confront the action or conflict, and now something major has to come to a head.
Perhaps Fiona makes a new acquaintance who takes on a motherly role, reducing those feelings of doubt about moving so far away from home. Perhaps she submits the revised version of her book and it's accepted. Maybe she tells the devilish lad she's not interested so she can focus on her work.
Just as there are many avenues for action and conflict, there are many ways to bring a story to a climax. This will be the moment that stirs up the strongest sense of emotion in the reader.
4. Falling Action
In the falling action, we see things start to wind down.
Fiona and her new motherly acquaintance might have settled into a steady rhythm of Sunday dinners by now. As for her book, maybe the only thing she's waiting for is the advanced copy. Perhaps the devilish lad has come back around and they're in a steady relationship.
In any story, it's important to conclude with a solid resolution, sometimes called the denouement. Here, we learn of the final outcome of the tale. Short stories, in particular, need a defined ending. Books, however, can remain somewhat open-ended. But, you must bring the story to a close with either a tragic or a happy ending.
Perhaps Fiona is purchasing a crumbling mansion in Ireland with the royalties from her book. Or, maybe she'll move back to her home country, cherishing her Irish adventure for what it was. Either way, readers want to experience some sort of finite conclusion, or resolution.
Growing a Story Tree
Below, you'll find a downloadable PDF document that you can print off, either for yourself or for your students. The 'story tree' is a great way to visualize the different elements of a story's plot. Refer to this guide for Adobe printables for additional help with downloading the file.
View & Download PDF
Examples of Strong Plot Construction
To get a sense of what a particularly strong plot of a story looks like, consider these exceptional examples.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is a master plotter. In her Harry Potter series, we meet Harry and, soon thereafter, two characters who go on to become his closest friends. Once the introduction is established, we learn of Harry's quest to secure the Sorcerer's Stone.
As for the conflict, Professor Snape is also after the Stone. In a climactic moment, Harry and his friends defeat an evil troll released by Professor Snape. Although resolution is achieved when Harry secures the Stone, the series is able to continue on with six more books.
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
In this classic by Charlotte Brontë, we meet Jane straight away. Her backstory is established as an orphaned girl who attends a treacherous boarding school. Immediately, we discern she's a very strong character. As for the rising action, we watch Jane go on to become governess, or teacher, at a great manor in England. There, she meets and falls in love with Mr. Rochester.
For the climax, just as they're about to wed, Jane learns about Mr. Rochester's first wife, who's still alive, albeit imprisoned due to her insanity. In the falling action, Jane moves away and we watch her settle into her new life with her cousins. The story comes to a 'happily ever after' resolution when Jane and Mr. Rochester reunite and are able to marry, once and for all.
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
In The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, we meet Katniss Everdeen. The rising action is introduced when we see she's tasked with representing her district in the games. As such, she will face a series of difficult battles.
These battles reach their climax when Katniss is tied in the competition with one of the other representatives from another district. They decide to kill themselves rather than kill each other. The falling action and resolution take place when we see that the officials don't want that to happen and instead declare them both victorious.
Let the Story Unfold
Keep in mind the main idea for your story and with these five elements, you can begin a storyboard for your very own short story or novel! You'll need a strong character, a series of events, a climactic and emotional moment, a series of events post-climax, and a resolution. Once you outline these five plot elements, anything is possible.
Example Of Story About Familyclevelandmultifiles Friendship
As you begin your journey to greatness, learn how to set a story within a story or enjoy these tips on writing a bestseller.
The example in this article walks you through building a story about earthquake trends over time.
The story feature in Tableau is a great way to showcase this type of analysis because it has a step-by-step format which lets you move your audience through time.
Rather than showing you how to create all the views and dashboards from scratch, this example starts from an existing workbook. What you'll do is pull the story together. To follow along and access the pre-built views and dashboards, download the following workbook from Tableau Public: An Earthquake Trend Story(Link opens in a new window).
Frame the story
A successful story is well-framed, meaning its purpose is clear. In this example, the story's purpose is to answer the following question: Are big earthquakes becoming more common?
There are several approaches you could take – see Best Practices for Telling Great Stories for a list – but the one used here as an overall approach is Change over Time, because it works especially well for answering questions about trends. As you build the story you'll notice that other data story types, such as Drill Down and Outliers, are blended in to support the overall approach.
Build the story
Create a story worksheet
Use Tableau Desktop to open the Earthquake Trend Story workbook that you downloaded.
If you also have Tableau Server or Tableau Online and you want to do your authoring on the web instead of in Tableau Desktop, publish the workbook to your Tableau server, click Workbooks, select the workbook, then under Actions choose Edit Workbook.
Once you open the workbook, you'll see that it has three dashboards. You'll be using those dashboards to build your story. The workbook also has a finished version of the story.
Tip: To see the individual views that are in a dashboard, right-click the dashboard's tab and select Unhide all Sheets.
Click the New Story tab.
Tableau opens a new worksheet as your starting point.
Right-click the Story 2 tab, choose Rename Sheet, and type Earthquake story as the worksheet name.
State the question
Story titles are in view at all times and they're a handy way to keep your story's purpose in the spotlight. By default, Tableau uses the worksheet name as the story title. In Tableau Desktop you can override that by doing the following:
Double-click the title.
In the Edit Title dialog box, replace <Sheet Name> with the following:
Are big earthquakes on the rise?
If you're authoring in Tableau Server or Tableau Online, the story tab is the only place where you can change the title.
To help orient your audience, the first story point you create will show the broadest possible viewpoint – all earthquakes, across the entire planet.
On the Story pane, double-click Map dashboard to place it on the story sheet. If you're using Tableau Desktop, you can also use drag-and-drop to add views and dashboards to a story sheet.
Notice how there's a horizontal scroll bar and the legend isn't fully displayed.
There's a special setting you can use on your dashboards to prevent this from happening.
Select Map dashboard and under Size on the Dashboard pane, select Fit to Earthquake story. This setting is designed to make dashboards the perfect size for a story.
Look at the Earthquake story again. You see that its size has been adjusted and the scroll bars are gone.
If you're using Tableau Desktop, add a description for this story point, such as Exactly 131,834 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater have been recorded since 1973.
Add caption text by clicking the area that reads Write the story point description text here.
Click Update on the caption to save your changes to the story point.
Just like the plot of a good novel needs to move the action along, so does a data story. Starting with your next story point, you'll use the drill-down technique in order to narrow down the scope of the story and keep the narrative moving.
To use your first story point as a baseline for your next, click Duplicate under New Storypoint on the left.
Change the Magnitude filter to 7.000 – 9.100 so that the map filters out smaller earthquakes. The map pans to show the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire(Link opens in a new window)’, where the majority of the large earthquakes occurred.
Add a caption, such as About two quakes each year qualify as ‘major’
If you're using Tableau Desktop, edit the description to describe what you've done in this story point. For example: Out of over 130,000 earthquakes since 2004, only 174 were of magnitude 7.0 or greater – about two major earthquakes each year. But many people wonder, 'Are earthquakes happening more often?'
Click Update in the story toolbar above the caption to save your changes.
In the next story point, you're going to drill down further, narrowing the story's focus so that a specific type of earthquake – the ‘megaquake’ – comes into view.
Click Duplicate in your second story point to use it as the baseline for your third story point.
Change the Magnitude filter to 8.000 – 9.100 so that the map filters out everything except the megaquakes.
Add the caption and description text.
Caption: These megaquakes have drawn a lot of attention
Description (Tableau Desktop only): Recent megaquakes of magnitude 8.0 and higher have often caused significant damage and loss of life. The undersea megaquakes near Indonesia and Japan also caused tsunamis that have killed many thousands of people.
Click Update to save your changes.
In the next two story points, you're going to further engage your audience by examining data points at the far end of the scale: the two most deadly earthquakes in recent history.
As you've done before, use Duplicate to create a new story point as your starting point.
Adjust Magnitude to 9.000–9.100 and you'll see just two data points.
Select one of the marks, such as the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004 that had a magnitude of 9.1.
Use the pan tool on the maps menu to centre it in your story point.
Add caption and description text. For example:
Caption: The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004
Description (Tableau Desktop only): The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred on 26 December 2004. It is the third largest earthquake ever recorded and had the longest duration of faulting ever observed, between 8.3 and 10 minutes.
Click Update to save your changes.
Repeat the preceding steps for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, using the following as caption and description text.
Caption: The Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011
Description (Tableau Desktop only): The 2011 quake off the coast of Tõhoku was a magnitude 9.0 undersea megathrust earthquake. It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and the 5th most powerful earthquake ever recorded.
Notice that you've already created a compelling visual story using just a single dashboard – all by filtering the data and zooming and panning the map.
We still haven't answered the key question, however: Are big earthquakes on the rise? The next story points will dig in to that angle.
Show a trend
In the next story point, you'll switch to a line chart (the Timeline dashboard) to show your audience a trend you spotted when you were initially creating views and dashboards.
Switch from the story you're building to Timeline dashboard.
On the Timeline dashboard, set size to Fit to Earthquake story.
Go back to your story and click Blank to create a fresh story point.
Double-click the Timeline dashboard to add it to your story sheet.
More earthquakes are being reported over time since 1973. In fact, it's increased significantly!
Add a caption, such as: More and more earthquakes are being detected
Use Drag to add text to add a description of the trend (Tableau Desktop only): Since 1973, there's been a steady increase in the number of earthquakes recorded. Since 2003, the trend has accelerated.
Offer your analysis
From your earlier work in this story with the Map dashboard you know that there are regional differences in earthquake frequency. In your next story point, you'll pull in the Timeline by region dashboard, which breaks out earthquakes by region, and adds trend lines, which help reduce the variability in the data.
Click Blank to create a new story sheet.
Double-click the Timeline by region dashboard to the story sheet. The APAC region clearly stands out.
Add a caption then use Drag to add text to add a comment that points out the large number of earthquakes in the APAC region.
Caption: Especially on the eastern side of the Pacific Rim
Description (Tableau Desktop only): A rough categorisation of earthquakes into geographic regions (by longitude) shows that the most significant increase in recorded earthquakes has occurred around the Pacific Rim.
Answer the question
Thus far, your data story has concluded that earthquake frequency in the Pacific Rim has increased since 1973, but your original question was about whether big earthquakes are becoming more frequent.
To answer this question, in your final story point, you'll filter out weaker earthquakes and see what the resulting trend line is.
Example Of Story With Moral Lesson
Click Duplicate to create a new story sheet.
Set the Magnitude filter to 5.000–9.100. Notice how the trend lines have flattened out but there's still a slight increase.
Add a caption then use Drag to add text to add your answer to the story point.
Caption: But the trend in big quakes is not as clear
Description (Tableau Desktop only): It appears that big earthquakes are increasing slightly. There should be more investigation, however, on whether this trend is real or the result of a small number of exceptionally strong recent earthquakes.
As is often the case with a data story, the story ends with additional questions.
Yes, there's a trend, but it's slight. More big earthquakes (magnitude 5.000 - 9.100) have been reported in recent years, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, but could that be natural variation? That might be a good topic for another story.