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Words nearby falling action
What is falling action?
Falling action is what happens near the end of a story after the climax and resolution of the major conflict.
The majority of literary and dramatic works (stories, novels, plays, movies) are built on action—characters doing things, typically pursuing things they want. The climax (the most intense part of the story, often a turning point or a conclusion to the conflict) is preceded by rising action and followed by falling action. Simply put, falling action is what the characters are doing after the story’s most dramatic part has happened.
You can see falling action in action (see what we did there?) in just about any form of narrative. And being able to identify it and the other structural elements of a story can help you craft compelling stories of your own.
Why is falling action important in a story?
Have you heard of Gustav Freytag? He was a 19th-century German novelist and playwright who studied Ancient Greek and Shakespearean drama and noticed, like many scholars have, that the majority of stories have common elements. In studying plays, he developed a system, now known as Freytag’s Pyramid, that breaks down dramatic works into five main stages: exposition (introduction), rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement (final resolution).
You’ve seen it thousands of times. The story starts and the setting and details are established along with the characters (exposition), who do some things (rising action) leading up to the big moment (climax): the hero saves the day; the friends are reunited; the explorer makes the big discovery. The main conflict is resolved. Then comes the falling action.
While it may not be as suspenseful or intense as rising action, falling action is still action, and it is a crucial part of the plot. Without it, the story would end right after the climax, and we’d be left wondering what the characters do next. Although the falling action begins to decrease the tension and excitement of the climax, it still often contains elements of conflict or suspense: the hero’s journey home; friends get to know each other again; the explorer finds that the big discovery was not exactly as it seemed.
Falling action is the bridge between the climax and the denouement. The denouement is the final part of the story that ties up the loose ends of the plot, or at least some of them.
Although the falling action is typically shorter than the rising action, it’s not just a winding down period. The falling action helps us more fully understand the characters by showing us what choices they make after they’ve faced the crucial moment that all their actions had been leading up to. Pay attention to the falling action, and you might just find the whole point of the story.
Did you know ... ?
To easily remember the five parts of Freytag’s Pyramid, just use this mnemonic: Explorers Rise, Climb, Fall Down (Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, Denouement).
What are real-life examples of falling action?
If you were to visualize a plot as a mountain, the falling action would be the way down, before getting to level ground.
Falling action can be found in just about any story being told—even true stories!
Good call! BTW, the #freshprince theme song has a full exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and conclusion. Tons of fun to introduce story mapping! The kids still know the song!! #NewTeachChat https://t.co/pIOKOWBQdA
— Karen E Lewis (@KarenLewisEdu) October 8, 2019
What other words are related to falling action?
Which of the following statements DOES NOT apply to falling action?
A. It sometimes happens before the climax of the story.
B. It can reveal more about the main character.
C. It can introduce a new character.
D. It occurs before the ending of the story.
Example sentences from the Web for falling action
While this deferred action is controversial in the United States, in Mexico, what Obama did is universally popular.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting|Ruben Navarrette Jr.|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
This is where much of the action will be for anti-LGBT groups.
In 2008, Huckabee raised a little over $16 million, with less than $55,000 coming from political action committees.
We also see her physically battling Sheriff Clark, but the camera focuses on her falling to the ground.Dr. King Goes to Hollywood: The Flawed History of ‘Selma’|Gary May|January 2, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The possibility that the same outcome could happen another way -- namely a guy asks me out -- keeps me from taking action.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating|Ellie Schaack|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Let the thought of self pass in, and the beauty of great action is gone, like the bloom from a soiled flower.
He saw Gen. Braddock as he passed on to his defeat, and could give a succinct account of that sanguinary action.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
The wisdom of a scribe cometh by his time of leisure: and he that is less in action, shall receive wisdom.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
Words are often everywhere as the minute-hands of the soul, more important than even the hour-hands of action.
It will be no more monotonous than having one's seventh birthday or falling in love for the first time.The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells