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Simplest way to explain story vs plot

Would you agree the simplest way to explain story vs plot is to say the story is what happens and the plot is how it is told?

If not, why not?

Writing | 👁 885 | Posted 2018-02-28 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: 2018-02-28 | Author:

12 Comments

RainaElf 2 years ago

Right. I see plot pretty much as outline - it's the scaffolding.

flubberto1 2 years ago

"He was a punk She did ballet What more can I say" Thank you Avril Lavigne. Story is what the reader interprets. The majority of it is inferred by the reader. All the other words you are confused about aren't what create the story. They are words used for analysis, which is the breaking apart of a story into sections that can be more easily discussed and further understood. Here's a plot written in a text: plot-image. It's not the story. The story is what's experienced from beginning to end.

musicqueen 2 years ago

Thanks for links. I'll check them out. Would you agree to this: "story (in the first sense in your reply) is the character question the protagonist is dealing with and plot is the framework for how the story is told"?

musicqueen 2 years ago

That's the opposite of what I've understood the difference to be, as explained in essays like this one. Plot supports story, which is why the same story can be told with different plots.

musicqueen 2 years ago

That's an interesting way of putting it but couldn't you just say "story is the puzzle and plot is the steps to solve it"? I'm thinking of this: "Plot delivers the nifty tricks that reassure us theres a point to storytelling. Plot sets up the cause and effect that gives readers a sense of rightness in the storys conclusion."

themadturk 2 years ago

Great illustration. Thanks!

musicqueen 2 years ago

The way I've always understood it (from articles like this one https://getfreewrite.com/blogs/writing-success/story-vs-plot) the plot is how the story is organized in its telling. It's how its plotted out, which encompasses storyline, but is more than just storyline. The dictionary.com definitions seem too generic to distinguish the nuances between the two. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

GerJohannes 2 years ago

Plot is a part of a story.

xenomouse 2 years ago

I would say that "story" is the entire thing - plot, characters, setting, conflict, theme. Plot is just one of the various elements of story.

readerforhire 2 years ago

Plot offers the steps to solve the puzzle, but the story offers why the puzzle exists in the first place.

kzielinski 2 years ago

The first problem is that you have the definitions around the wrong way. looking at dictionary.com plot: Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story. story: a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale. Note that we Story is the literary form, plot refers to the events that happened. And you can put the same plot into many literary forms.

noximo 2 years ago

I guess it's an ok explanation...


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