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Writerese: Story and Plot

Story = An account of events told for entertainment.

Plot = The sequence of events in a narrative.

Similar, yet different, wouldn’t you say? Yet many writers think of the two in interchangeable terms. What do they mean to a writer?

At Terrible Minds, Chuck Wendig creates a compelling analogy using ghost and bones to differentiate between story and plot. To further clarify the point, reminds us:

“When someone says, “Tell me a story,” they don’t mean, “Describe to me a sequence of events.”

In a guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog, Philip Martin explains:

“Stories connect events and create meaning; they also connect people to each other.”

To oversimplify here: A plot describes how and when things happen. A story is the deeper meaning behind those events.

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