How to Write Rising Action

How to Use Rising Action Effectively

Guide on how to write a rising action

In this article, we are going to discuss on the rising action. Let us start by defining “rising action.”

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Definition of rising action

A question that is common amongst lots of people is, what is rising action? Below is a definition of what exactly rising action is and what it is all about.

In a story, the rising action is a section of a story that is usually leading to the climax of that particular story. The rising action helps in growing the story’s central conflict, thus leading to the creation of successful conflicts. Let us use the story “Little Red Riding Hood” to explain further about the rising action. In the story, everything takes place when the Red goes to Grandma’s house. When the Red faces contact with the Big Bad Wolf, then things change, the story’s rising action is archived.

Below is additional information about a story’s rising action:

  • A rising action of a story will often follow the plot’s exposition. This is a section of the plot. In this section, the character’s world where everything happens is established. After the rising action, then the next thing is the climax on the story.
  • Each and every story that is correctly written and composed, there must be a part of the story that can be referred to as the rising action. The rising action must be evident for narratives that have plot structures that are unconventional.
  • Falling action is the opposite of our main topic – rising action. This section is where the climax of the story de-escalates, and further dispelling to the main conflict is observed.

Elaboration of the Rising action

We can refer to the rising action as the “meat” of the narrative. This is because of the rising action. This is where most of the important things occur. In any writing work that contains a plot, it is also supposed to have a rising action. Below are some features that rising actions have and feature that will help you identify a rising action.

  • At most times, the rising action will always start with a complication or an incident: the incident that is evident in a rising action must be inciting. The inciting events are the actions evident in the rising action that brings the challenges that the character face. Thus, this sets the motion for increasingly challenging or interesting events for the reader. These challenging or interesting events often give rise to the story’s main events. The end of the exposition is marked by the inciting incidents; thus, the rising actions begin. When one is reading, the inciting events do not have to be events that are actual. This may be information that creates tension in character. It also may be information that creates suspense for the characters. The information that is referred to as inciting events can also be called a complication. Below is an example of one inciting event and another of an inciting event:

The movie “home alone” inciting incidents

When Kevin is left at home as the rest of the family goes on vacation is where the inciting events are evident.

Complications in “Little Red Riding Hood”

Having a Wolf that is red and big in the story makes the action of the trip more dangerous. Thus, the Red has to be suspect full.

  • The rising action usually is one of the lengthy sections of a narrative: when recognizing the rising action section, the thumb rule is usually used. It is important to identify that using the thumb rule to identify the rising action cannot be considered foolproof. This is because some story plot structures are often typical. But in the narrative of Little Red Riding Hood, the rising action of this kind is observable.  
  • Rising action often creates tension and suspense: when one is narrating a story to the target audience, one can uses the audience to identify the rising action section. The rising action can be obtained from the audience by just observing their feelings and the gesture not forgetting the facial expressions that they portray as the story is been presented to them. This is one of the ways that one can obtain a story’s rising action. The rising action will continue to increase as the feeling of suspense in relation to the main point of the story continues to increase.
  • As the climax end, also the rising action comes to an end: the rising action ends as the climax of a story comes to an end. This is because the feeling of suspense and tension in the story builds up. Also, the development of the rising action decreases as the climax of the story comes to an end. So another way through which you can tell the rising action is by just identifying the story’s climax. However, the climax scatters the tension created and increases during the rising action. The climax is associated unswervingly with the tension and the conflict that has been obtained in the rising action section.

If the rising action’s events will not take place, thus, the outcomes and the climax of a story would also not take place. This is one of the things that influence people to say that the narrative’s rising action is the most important piece of a story’s plot.  

Sections of the rising action

In the 19th century, one of the most famous person that made a framework that could be used in analyzing a plots was Gustav Freytag. He was the first person who argues that all plots can be broken can be subdivided into five sections. The five sections are:

  • The first section he argued to be the Exposition
  • Then the rising action, followed the exposition
  • After rising action was climax
  • Then the falling action

The Denouement

This theory was created in order to give a description of the plots of stories and plays. Mostly this theory was applicable in plays. The plays were broken into five sections. This theory was also used in analyzing other works like novels, films, TV shows, and short stories. The theory is also referred to as the pyramid theory:

The information presented above by the pyramid shows that all the parts of the story length are equal. This is something that you should note from the diagram above. The climax is at the center of the diagram. On the other hand, the diagram by Freytag may be misleading.  This is because the rising action in a plot of a piece is usually the longest section. Thus the information above being misleading due to the rising action’s length, a modified pyramid was created. This modified diagram shows the rising action being lengthy. The rising action diagram is as follows:

Though the pyramid constructed by Freytag was handy, not all the literature works fit in this structure. In fact, a lot of postmodern and modern writers have intentionally subverted the narrative that is standard narrative and structure of the plot that is presented by Freytag. In relation to the Freytag pyramid, the rising action may be often spoken about.

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Examples of Rising action

A streetcar Named Desire – rising action

In the piece written by Tennessee Williams, the rising action is evident when the character Dubois comes home. He finds his sister’s home, and they have a cheat chat. Dunois’s sister’s name is Stella. As they are having a chat with her brother, she tells him that she has lost their childhood home possessions under circumstances that are mysterious. Then the story’s inciting incident is evident when the husband to Stella, Dubois also arrives and start having conversation with the two. The tension between the three rises until the climax, when Stella’s brother accuses Stella’s husband of taking advantage of Stella.

Stanley confronts Dubois about raping Stella.

The rising action in this set is everything that happens between the inciting incident and the climax.

The rising action in Romeo and Juliet

There are double ends that are opposing each other due to how people argue about the climax of the narrative Romeo and Juliet.

In Romeo and Juliet, the rising action remains often evident as the inciting incident is when Romeo kisses Juliet and then learns that Juliet is a Capulet. The rising action between this event and the climax is when Romeo kills Tybalt and also kills himself. That is how evident the rising action is in Romeo and Juliet.

The rising action in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

In this story, the rising action is very interesting.  The inciting incident is when Mariner shoots and kills albatross; thus, the rising action is between this incident and the climax when The Mariner becomes aware of how life is valuable while albatross drops down from his neck. That is the rising action happening in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

The purpose of rising action

In building a narrative, a rising action must be evident. The rising action fulfills the following:

  • The rising action creates suspense and also increases the tension that is in the fundamental conflict of the narrative.
  • The rising action helps in moving the story forward. Thus leading to the story’s climax. By doing this, the rising action helps the story to reach its resolution.
  • The rising action gives out information that is important. Thus making the development of the plot more complex and life-like
  • The rising action grabs the reader’s attention. The rising action is the point where the author grabs the attention of the reader or does not. If the rising action is not effective, then it is going to fail to pull in the audience.

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