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fabula-plot

Do You Know The Difference Between Fabula And Plot?

Two fundamental elements of any story are the fabula and the plot.
Without these two elements, it is not possible to create a narrative. It is from here, therefore, that every writer starts to construct their narrative.

What are the Fabula and Plot?

The fabula is the narration of the events in the order of their logical-temporal sequence.

It is, therefore, clear that the fabula is a fact; it represents what happens (and things happen in chronological order, causes before effects).

An example of a fabula is the Divine Comedy. Dante‘s journey is essentially linear. Each stage is necessary to access the next scenario and set the events in the correct chronological order.

On the other side, there is the plot. The plot is when the author can establish how the individual events of the story are to take place. In other words, it is the mode we choose to narrate the facts.

The author is, therefore, free to choose which way to tell the facts.

There are different types of plot

  • resolution plot: the transformative action concludes a concrete crisis (a meeting, a marriage, …);
  • revelation plot: the characters carry out a revelation process, increasing their knowledge or consciousness.
  • unified plot: in which the plot unfolds over successive, closely connected episodes;
  • episodic plot: individual episodes present weak links to one another while carrying a single narrative corpus.

Plot and fabula: where to start?

Some writers prefer to start and define the fabula and then concentrate on the plot. This allows them first to define the events and then think about how to present them to the reader.

In other cases, on the contrary, fabula and plot do not coincide. To make stories more compelling and exciting, authors often disregard the chronological order of the fabula and construct the plot of their texts with time lags.

Two narrative techniques allow you to reverse the story’s events: analepsis and prolepsis.

  • The analepsis (or flashback or retrospection) consists of a jump back in time, whereby what happened previously is recounted.
  • The prolepsis (or flashforward or anticipation) is the opposite technique to flashback, which consists of a leap forward in time, whereby one anticipates what will happen in the future.

When the plot does not coincide with the fabula, it is up to the reader to reconstruct the chronological order of events after reading through an operation of personal abstraction. By reading the story, they will mentally put the pieces back together, restoring their logical-chronological succession.

bibisco can help you to choose the fabula and the plot

As anticipated, the fabula and the plot are among the two main elements to think about before creating a narrative.
However, the writer has the choice of whether to create a coherence of events or not.
bibisco, thanks to its innovative writing software, helps you in this difficult choice and to identify the events of the fabula so that you can present them in the plot without the risk of forgetting something or confusing the reader.

Dramaturgy Series #6: Fabula and plot- bibisco's architecture of the novel & narrative strands - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software

Conclusions

When you want to start writing a novel, you should avoid writing without an outline, not knowing the events you want to include in the narrative.

Each author has the freedom to choose the order to present the events narrated in their text: they can describe the events scrupulously following their chronological order, or they can decide to anticipate certain future events or explain past events.

In short, he can organize the succession of their narrative by playing with fabula and plot.

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