What a plot is and what a story is can be sometimes confusing. If you think they are the same… They are not. A plot is the outline of your story. The story is everything included.
I will illustrate the difference by asking you to visualize two pictures…
1. Visualize a skeleton.
2. Visualize a body.
The skeleton is your plot. It’s the outline of your story. It won’t be visible when we flesh it out but it will still be there, holding your story together.
The body is your story. It’s everything, which our story will contain, including the plot. The story is the plot fleshed out.
What does it mean to ‘flesh it out?’
Let me show you.
I’ll take a brief plot…
A man meets a woman and they fall in love. They encounter great difficulties because their family are against the relationship.
This is the outline of the story.
Now we are going to flesh it out and make it into a story. Fleshing it out means adding things to make this basic plot into a story. To do this we will add the rest of the ingredients such as…
Setting – Where will our story take place
Dialogue – What will be said and by whom
Characters – How many characters will our story contain? Who are they? What is their role?
Problems – What and how many problems will the couple encounter
Goal – What is the couple’s goal?
Conflict – What is the conflict?
Climax – How is the conflict going to come to its peak?
Ending – Will their love win in the end?
And anything else I’ll need in my story
Once we have written up all these ingredients, this will be our plot fleshed out into a story.
© Nick Vernon
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