– the author’s arrangement of incidents in
• Freytag’s Pyramid
– a diagram of the structure of a five-act
tragedy, given by Gustav Freytag
– widely accepted (and sometimes adapted)
as a means of analyzing the structure of
many kinds of fiction in addition to drama.
The pyramid is made up of seven steps –
four phases and three moments from
beginning to end.
– the introductory material, which often creates the
tone. Gives the setting, introduces the characters,
and supplies other facts necessary for
• Inciting Moment
– the event or force that sets in motion the rising
action of a work of fiction. Also called the
precipitating incident, exciting force or narrative
• Rising Action
– the part of the dramatic action that has to do with the
complication of the action. Begins with the inciting
moment, gains interest or power as the opposing
groups/ideas come into conflict, and proceeds to the
climax. It can also be called the complication.
– the turning point in the action, the crisis at which
the rising action reverses and becomes the falling
action. Sometimes called the reversal.
• Falling Action
– the second half of the dramatic plot. It
follows the climax and often exhibits the
winding down of the climax.
– the end of the falling action and the
solution of the conflict. The resolution is not
always a happy ending.
– involves not only the resolution of the conflict but an
explanation of all the secrets and misunderstandings
connected with the plot; the tying up of loose ends,
exposure of a villain, clearing up a mistaken identity,
reuniting characters, etc.