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Many of us don’t realize that there is a difference between a plot and a story, because we refer to the plot as a story. However, the plot should correctly be referred to as the storyline, which is different to the story itself. The plot is the meat and bones of the story. It can be charted and outlined to highlight the critical events during a movie, book, or TV show. The plot is developed in order to create a better story. The story is the idea, the general theme, and the loose interpretation of the event in its entirety. You can easily create the same story over and over, and adjust the plot in order to create differences. This happens all the time in TV series, and within genre movies and books.


Key difference between plot and story:

A story is basically a sequence of events in words based on some true or fictitious incidents. On the other hand, a plot establishes the relationship between the events of a story by using an element of cause and effect. The same story may be interpreted by using different plots Many people have described plot and story in different ways. However, there seem to be many different notions attached with the concept of plot and story. A story is basically a sequence of events in words based on some true or fictitious incidents. There are different mediums to express a story like in prose or verse. The story can also be depicted by various mediums like films, books, theater, plays, etc.  Stories have been an important part of various cultures and societies mainly for their entertaining effect.  A story can be short or lengthy depending upon many factors. The story must possess some events otherwise it will not be called as a story. A story always tells the events in chronological order. Four important elements of a story are– setting, characters, plot and conflict. Setting is all about the background information regarding the time and place where the story is taking its shape. Characters are all creatures involved in the story. Plot is the series of events described in a logical way. Conflict deals with a problem or conflict between people, things or even ideas.  Plot is associated with the stories as it weaves the story into events. These events transcend from one to another. A plot describes what happens in the order and clarifies the transcending of one event into some other particular event. Therefore, it is also considered as a part of discourse. Every story tends to have a similar type of structure. However, they can be segmented into sections like set up, inciting incident or conflict, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution to make up a plot. During the first stage of a conventional plot’s frame, main characters are introduced and background information is provided. It is followed by the conflict where a problem or struggle occurs. Rising action increases the tension and leads to the climax. During climax, the plot reaches to its highest emotional platform. It is the main turning point. Falling action is related to some events which arise due to crisis. The tension begins to settle down.  Resolution is generally the final element where the conflict meets its resolution and usually ends with a happy ending.

According to my analysis the story covers who, what, where part and the plot covers how, when why part.


Who, what, where:

The story encompasses who the characters are, what conflicts they are facing, and where this is all taking place. You can usually find the basic story of a movie or book within the general logline.

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer must hunt the beast down before it kills again.


That's the story of Steven Spielberg's Jaws. It's basic. It covers:


  • Who — a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer?
  • What — killer shark unleashing chaos that needs to be hunted down before it kills again
  • Where — a beach community

So, if anyone asks you want your story is about, the logline is a great place to start. It covers the basic elements of your story. It doesn't go into detail about how, when, and why everything happens. That's saved for the plot.


How, when, why:

The plot is how the story is delivered within a screenplay or book. It covers:

  • How the characters are confronted with the conflicts that are thrown at them.
  • When the story takes place within the lives of the characters
  • Why the characters are confronted with the conflict and why do they react the way they do.


In the case of Jaws, we know the general story:


When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer must hunt the beast down before it kills again. 

But the plot gives us more details

By understanding the above-mentioned points, we can easily understand the difference between plot and story and why a good plot in necessary to make the story memorable. If you are still having some difficulty hop on to our website’s Britain Writers portal and our team will be ready to assist you and resolve all your quires regarding all types of writing assignments.

9/7/2021 8:50:59 PM
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