What Is a Plot Diagram and How Do You Use It for Storytelling?


A plot diagram is a graphical representation of the events that occur in a story. It is often used as a tool for storytelling by helping to plan and visualize the events of a narrative. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what a plot diagram is, how it can be used, and some tips for using it effectively.

What is a Plot Diagram? 

It’s a tool for visualizing stories and their various components. It helps provide better structure and allows teachers to easily point out different points in a narrative. It’s also useful for identifying themes or changes in character development over time. 

Why Is It Important for Storytelling?

Essentially, plot diagrams are designed to help teachers break down stories with their students and expand on the specific details found within. For those looking for an easier way to create them, there is a plot diagram maker — StoryboardThat that can help with this task. 

Teachers can use this kind of diagram to get their students interested and talk about the main ideas in a narrative. This gives the students more confidence because they understand not only what happened but also why it happened.

How Can You Use It to Create a Story Outline?

Using a plot diagram can help teachers create organized and focused narrative outlines, building a picture of how a narrative is put together, with each point representing an important part of the story. 

By filling out each point in the narrative, teachers can use it to brainstorm the storyline for their stories and plan out all the components of their narrative. From there, teachers identify and develop which characters should be included and how to bring their story to life. 

What are Some Common Elements of a Plot Diagram?

It is essential for teachers to have a good understanding of what the common elements of a plot diagram are. Usually, they consist of the following:

  • exposition;
  • rising action; 
  • climax;
  • falling action;
  • resolution. 

In the exposition, characters are introduced and the main conflict is set up. This is also where background information is given. Most of the tension in a story comes from the rising action, which follows the protagonist as they try to solve their problem. 

Typically, it’s a series of events that get more intense and exciting each time. Most people think of the climax as the most exciting part of a narrative, while the falling action ties up any loose ends or side stories by showing how they fit into the ending. 

In the end, in the resolution, the main characters either directly or indirectly solve the problem that started the story and teach the reader something important about life in general. Through this understanding, teachers can help students explore stories at greater depth.

How Can You Use a Plot Diagram to Improve Your Storytelling?

Teachers can benefit from using plot diagrams to effectively plan out their writing. They can help you write stories, big scenes, or even single action points if you know where they fit into the bigger story arc. Breaking down a work into smaller, more manageable parts can help to simplify the writing process and ensure that each element of your narrative works well together. 

Adding relationships between these elements can also make your writing more interesting and deep. A plot diagram helps writers be more creative because it gives them a framework that lets them go beyond typical patterns and write unique stories with clear goals. Utilizing a plot diagram helps teachers refine their work until they have a story they can be proud of.

Bottom Line 

Plot diagrams are a great way for teachers to engage their students and discuss the structure of stories. They help break down complicated stories into parts that are easy to understand.

Also, they help students be creative by showing them how different parts of a narrative can interact with each other. When used properly, plot diagrams can create clear story arcs and help to improve the overall storytelling process. With a plot diagram, teachers have an effective tool to explore ideas, plan, and bring their narratives to life!