The Main Types of Story Plot Structures

There are four main types of plot structures in stories: linear, episodic, parallel and flashback.

Linear plots move straight from the beginning to the end in a single line. Episodic plots are made up of a series of connected events with no clear beginning or end.

Which plot structure you choose will depend on your story and what you want to achieve with it. Linear plots are good for simple stories with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Episodic plots work well for long stories with many characters and events.

Linear plot. This type of plot structure is very straightforward and usually takes place chronologically

A linear plot is the most straightforward type of plot structure. Events in a linear plot occur in chronological order, and there is typically no flashbacks or other devices used to disrupt the flow of the story.

This type of plot is often used in novels and movies that are simple and easy to follow. While a linear plot can be interesting, it often lacks the complex twists and turns that make more complicated plots more exciting.

Episodic plot

Episodic plots are often used in serialized fiction, such as television shows, comics, and novels. This structure allows the story to be broken up into manageable chunks that can be easily consumed by the audience. It also allows for cliffhangers and other suspenseful devices to keep readers or viewers hooked from one episode to the next.

While an episodic plot can be very engaging, it does have some drawbacks. Because each episode must stand on its own, there is often little room for character development or complex subplots. In addition, if an episode falls flat, it can drag down the whole story.

Overall, an episodic plot is a good choice for stories that are designed to be consumed in small chunks over time. If you want to tell a complex tale with fully developed characters and subplots, however, you might want to consider another type of plot structure.

Parallel plot

One of the most common uses of parallel plots is to show how different people react to a major event. For example, a novel about 9/11 might have one plot line about a woman who was in one of the World Trade Center towers when it was attacked, and another plot line about a man who was watching the news coverage from his home in New York City.

Another common use of parallel plots is to show how different people are affected by an event that happened in their past. For example, a novel about child abuse might have one plot line about a woman who was abused as a child and another plot line about a man who abuser his own children.

Parallel plots can also be used to show how different people cope with similar problems. For example, a novel about addiction might have one plot line about a woman who is struggling to stay sober and another plot line about a husband whose wife is addicted to drugs.

Flashback plot

Flashback plots can be used to great effect in both novels and movies. In a novel, flashbacks can help to create a rich and detailed picture of the characters and their backstories. In a movie, flashbacks can provide crucial information about the characters and their motivations, without interrupting the flow of the main story.

There are some things to keep in mind when using flashbacks in your story. First, make sure that your flashbacks are relevant to the present-day action and serve to further your plot or develop your characters. Second, don’t over do it! Too many flashbacks can be confusing for your readers or viewers and take away from the overall impact of your story.

If used effectively, flashback plots can be an excellent way to add depth and intrigue to your tale. Just make sure that you use them judiciously!

There are many types of plots, but all follow a similar structure: rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.