According to the dictionary, plot is the plan of action for a play, novel, poem, short story, etc. When we read a story, we continue reading because we are waiting for the resolution of a conflict, or the solution to a mystery, a moral to the story, or just a plain "happy ending"! This is what keeps us reading the story!

One way you can build a good story is by having a believable character with a problem or situation that is solved by the character's own bravery or cleverness. To make the story really good, sometimes the character tries several ways to solve his problem, and fails.

Let's take a look at some favorite stories and their plots.

Cinderella is a favorite story that has many versions all over the world.

Is there a character that we can care about? Yes! We have Cinderella who is orphaned and lives with her cruel step-mother and step-sisters.
Does she have a problem? She sure does! She needs to get out of her current living situation, but how can she?
Different versions tell different stories about how CInderella escapes from her wicked step-mother. Some versions even have the step-mother and step-sisters end up "getting theirs" in the end. A very well loved story world wide, yet very simple.

How about Jack in the Beanstalk?

Poor father-less Jack, lives with his mother in poverty. His adventures with magic beans and his own cleverness result in him becoming rich (at the expense of the giant).

What about those Three Little Pigs?

In this story, we have three main characters (pigs), but the one who we really become attached to is the "third little pig". He is the most clever and builds his house out of bricks. He is able to save his brothers from being the wolf's dinner through his own hard work and cleverness. In the end the wolf leaves and the three little pigs live happily ever after! (I just love that story!)

As you get to be a better story writer, you can try making stories with trick endings that surprise the reader;or you can make the "problem" actually a decision that your character has to make.

Things to remember when writing a good story:

Activity: The Importance of Plot

Activities about Developing Characters
Jack and the Beanstalk- what kind of a guy was Jack?
Developing Your Own Character