Characters in a story, be it a short story, a novella or a novel, can’t exist if nothing else is happening. Characters need to go through situations in which they both act and react, move ahead and move back, learn, make mistakes, and grow. In other words, every novel needs a plot, needs something happening to its characters.
Most plots have five elements:
- 1. Introduction of the characters
- 2. An event with which motion begins. Such an event is often called a trigger event. Trigger events usually bring problems or conflicts that the characters need to solve.
- 3. A sequence of events that occur on the way to solving the conflict
- 4. A moment of great intensity also known as the climax of a story. In that moment the character either succeeds or fails.
- 5. A resolution, calm events that occur after the climax
If you think about creative works of literature that you’ve read in the past, you’ll probably be able to identify their structure using the elements 1-5. In many stories minor characters play an important role in conflicts and plot events. Moreover, there also can be subplots that involve both secondary and main characters.