Intro to Lit: Notes on Plot

Introduction to Literature: Notes on Plot

Source: The Norton Introduction to Literature, edited by Kelly Mays. The Shorter 13th Edition, 2019.

I grew up on Norton, so when I had to choose a source for my introductory series on lit, I couldn’t resist. Their series always has the best fiction, poetry and drama. Their instructional material is popular and student driven. I like it because it helps me ask and answer questions of the stories that I read.

It’s nice to be able to devote time to studying your favorite thing in the whole world, and I really know that I was born under a lucky star. So here I am with the book, pen and paper in hand, trying to work through the best stories out there. I hope that you enjoy the notes that I am sharing. It’s my process to share to learn. I don’t really learn unless I have written to someone else about my chosen topic.

So, let’s start with Literature first and from there who knows where we’ll go. Maybe past this solar system and into the next galaxy lies our destination. I hope that they have chocolate.

I have to define these terms. Plot. What are they talking about when they mention plot? It’s not just a sequence of events. I don’t mean that the man gets into a boat, rows into the ocean and kills a shark. That’s action. I mean, that after fighting and struggling with a large shark, he kills it. I know. This could be discussed. I think that the main difference is that the first series of events leads you to ask, “so what?” while the second invites the question of, “why?”
Well, why did he fight the shark?

The book used another example.
Ex. 1: The king died and then the queen died.
Ex. 2: The queen died after the king died.

Ex. 2, says the book, prompts the reader to ask why the queen died.

To sum up, plot is the way that an author sequences and paces events to shape the reader’s response and interpretation. It’s like the author has something to say about manhood, so he has this story about a guy fighting a shark. He crafts this story in such a way that the reader is turning the pages to find out if this shark is going to kill the guy or not. There are scenes where the shark almost capsized the boat, where the man almost loses the shark, and other scenes and they all lead towards this point of tension.

In the download, the main character is a young teen-aged girl that is lured into a dangerous situation by a strange man.

I hope that you like the story. It was made into a movie and its author is a very decent writer to say the least.

Happy reading!

1 thought on “Intro to Lit: Notes on Plot

  1. I am a collector of the “collection of poetry.” I have so many. I liked my collection with a 1600 pages and all the great writers to read. When my muse is sleeping. I read them. I liked the Norton also. Good morning from Michigan. I seek them out in the Library book sells.

    Liked by 1 person

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