Good plot and structure are essential when writing a story. You can think of plot and structure as the building blocks or the DNA of a story. You need to have a gripping plot and a solid structure if you want to keep readers engaged.

What is the difference between plot and structure?
Plot is what happens in your story. A plot is unique to your story and refers to how the particular events in your story relate to each other.

Structure refers to how the story is broken up i.e. beginning, middle and end. The same structure can be found in many different stories.

A framework for structure
One common device for structured used in fiction writing is known as the Narrative Arc. This will help to frame any story you are working on. The Narrative Arc can be broken down as follows:

This is the opening of the story. This is where the basic elements like main characters and setting are revealed.

Rising Action
This takes place in the first third of your story. Something complicates things for your characters and a bit of drama and suspense are introduced.

This is the biggest moment in the story – the turning point. It’s all been leading up to this. Here your characters could either succeed or fail at resolving a conflict.

Falling Action
This is a series of events after the climax that will bring the reader to the end of the story.

This is the end of the story and where the loose ends are tied up. Here the problems can be resolved or not, the ending can be happy or sad, depending on the type of story you are writing.

Remember if you have a solid foundation, it will make writing your story much easier. Take the time to plan your plot and your structure before writing your story and you will find the process will be much easier.