Plot Structure Slideshow

Plot Structure
An Introduction to Analyzing Plot Elements
Writer’s Notebook Prompt
Plot Structure Pyramid
I am going to describe each of these stages of plot structure
using Monsters Inc.!
Sets the scene
Introduces characters
Establishes point of view
There is no story. . .yet
Exposition in Monsters Inc.
We meet Mike and Sulley, the two main characters of
the film
We learn a little bit about Monstropolis, the town that
they live in
We also get an idea of a regular work day for them; they
scare kids and use screams to provide energy for the
Inciting Incident
The story really starts when problems arise
The point where the conflict is introduced
Something that complicates the protagonist’s (main
character’s) life
Inciting Incident in Monsters
The conflict begins when Sulley accidentally brings a
two-year-old girl, “Boo,” into Monstropolis
This is marks the beginning of all of their problems
and this is therefore the inciting incident
Rising Action
The story builds
Main characters are the focus
Characters get deeper into trouble
Many small challenges leading to the bigger goal
Rising Action in Monsters Inc.
Randall, the villain is introduced
Mike and Sulley work together to try and find Boo’s
door so that they can send her home without having
her noticed
They dress her up in a cute, little monster costume and
take her into where they work!
Sulley starts to get really attached to Boo
The moment of greatest tension
The point to which all events have led- “the show
Climax in Monsters Inc.
Mike and Sulley find out that
Randall is not only a mean
monster, but is conspiring to hurt
children as well
Mike and Sulley learn that
Randall and the boss of the
company have developed a way to
get more energy per kid using a
harmful machine
When Mike and Sulley find out,
they are banished to the North
Pole by the boss of the company
Mike gets mad at Sulley
Falling Action
Events that are the result of the climax
The story nears its end
Answers the question: What happens after the climax?
Falling Action in Monsters Inc.
Mike and Sulley become friends again
They meet the Abominable Snowman and find out
how to get back to Monstropolis to help save Boo
The protagonist solves the problem
Characters usually change because of what has
happened previously
Resolution in Monsters Inc.
Mike and Sulley find Boo and
defeat Randall
Mike and Sulley also trick their
boss into admitting that he was
behind this conspiracy in front
of the whole company
Boo gets sent home
Mike and Sulley make the
discovery that children’s
laughter is more powerful than
their screams, which resolves
the energy issue
Now it’s your turn!
You may work with a partner if
you want (NO groups of three)
Choose one of your favorite
books or movies (cannot be
Monsters Inc.)
You will be creating a
storyboard, identifying each of
the elements of plot structure
that we have discussed
Along with a rough sketch, you
must provide a description of
each plot point

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