How does understanding RISING ACTION can help YOU build a better PLOT?

So, what’s this rising action anyway? We’ve been talking about it sometime before, we said it had to do with the conflict the character is facing, right? So let’s dive deeper into this narrative idea to see if it can help us in anyway when facing a new story, okay?

In simple terms, rising action is a series of obstacles the character faces when pursuing a goal. It mostly comes down to the antagonist trying to stop the protagonist from achieving the objective, but we can also divide this obstacles into two main categories.

External, consider it as any obstacle coming from outside sources, that means outside the protagonist.

Internal, consider it as any obstacle coming from inside the character, from his own life and way of being.

Now, as a general scheme, we can consider rising action as follows:

First, the main character wants something. Then some obstacle, may be a thing, a character or their own flaws get in the way of said character, gets in the way of the one thing the character wants.

So, the protagonist overcomes a rising set of obstacles, encountering larger and larger ones while moving towards the objective. This happens every time until the protagonist reaches a place where there’s a chance to get what’s desired.

Not too complicated, right? Desire, obstacle, conflict… these are the elements that you will find in rising action and they’re important to have into consideration when thinking about a story, a sequence or even a scene. This is  because, having the idea in mind that every movement driven by desire will meet obstacles in their way to a climax, a chance to fullfil the desire, will certainly make your writing and conflict build better. So, just go with it!

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