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Gordian Plot is a writers website with a focus on plot.

This site includes lists to help you brainstorm ideas.

character thesaurus-A character trait list

Plot thesaurus- A list of plots

the story components category below is one of the most central categories on this is a good place to start browsing.

Category:story components, topics including- character, setting, point of view- and much more

Elements of fiction

Just as a painter uses color and line to create a painting, an author uses the elements of fiction to create a story:

The elements of fiction are: character, plot, setting, theme, and style. Of these five elements, character is the who, plot is the what, setting is the where and when, and style is the manner in which the material is presented.


see main articles character and Characterization

Characters may be of several types:

  • Point-of-view character: the character by whom the story is viewed. The point-of-view character may or may not also be the main character in the story.
  • Protagonist: the main character of a story
  • Antagonist: the character who stands in opposition to the protagonist
  • Minor character: a character that interacts with the protagonist. They help the story move along.
  • Foil character: a (minor) character who has traits in aversion to the main character

The narrator is the teller of the story, the orator, doing the mouthwork, or its in-print equivalent.


A plot, or storyline, is the events and actions of a story.

Plot is inseparable from character. The choices the characters make drive the plot and the plot situations motivate the characters to make choices.

at the core of plot are Category:person to person actions

plots are made out of situations, such as those listed in the Story situation thesaurus.

The majority of genre fiction follow a basic plot structure called the three act structure. it consists of three acts as follows:

  • act 1 is the setup. This act includes the protagonist's initial situation.Then something happens that causes the protagonist to commit to a concrete goal.
  • act 2 the first goal is struggled with and brought to resolution. the protagonist commits to a second concrete goal, beginning act 3
  • act 3 the second goal is resolved and the story is brought to closure.

this same formula is called the five act structure by calling the opening and close acts.


Setting is the time and location in which a story takes place.

Setting is the locale and time of a story. The setting is often a real place, but may be a fictitious city or country within our own world; a different planet; or an alternate universe, which may or may not have similarities with our own universe.


Theme is a conceptual distillation of the story; what the story is about.


Components of StyleEdit

For each piece of fiction, the author makes many choices, consciously or subconsciously, ibs which combine to form the writer's unique style. The components of style are numerous, but include point of view, choice of narrator, fiction-writing mode, person and tense, grammar, punctuation, word usage, sentence length and structure, paragraph length and structure, tone, imagery, chapter usage, and title selection.

Point of ViewEdit

Point of view is from whose consciousness the reader hears, sees, and feels the story.


Tone is the mood that the author establishes within the story.

Theme is the broad idea, message, or lesson of a story.



Developing your writing skills

Writing techniques Learning by doing a series of assignments of slowly increasing complexity.


Suspension of Disbelief

Suspension of disbelief is the reader's temporary acceptance of story elements as believable, regardless of how implausible they may seem in real life.

The audience creates Genera through its demands.


Literary criticism