Plot Diagrams

We can draw a generic diagram of the plot of a story:


BONUS: This diagram is officially known as Freytag's Pyramid.

Freytag’s Pyramid – a diagram of plot that shows how the reader’s tension level typically rises and falls while reading a story.

Usually, the conflict and the rising action make up most of the story, taking up at least 3/4 of the space.  The climax is, in itself, very, very short, and it happens very close to the end of the story; the shorter the piece of writing, the closer to the end the climax is.  The falling action and the resolution are usually longer than the climax, but still very short; they tie up any loose ends of the plot.

In actuality, most stories have several smaller conflicts, climaxes, and resolutions going on at the same time, each of which is a part of the larger, main conflict. 

During the main conflict, each smaller conflict, with a climax and resolution, may help build toward the suspenseful main climax and main resolution.

Or, each smaller conflict may arise, but not have the climax or resolution until the main climax and main resolution.