Story Arc - The most widespread format used to develop a story or plot line. It involves telling a story so that the action forms an arc with the climax of the story at the apex.
Character Arc - The development of insight into the Main Character which occurs along the same lines as arc of the story.
Inciting Incident – The event that brings characters together to begin the action of the play.
Foreshadowing – A seemingly minor tangible item which in retrospect symbolizes and foretells the story.
Major Dramatic Question - A question introduced at the beginning of a plot to draw the audience through the story in search of the answer.
Protagonist - The character that promotes the action of the story. May or may not be the main character.
Antagonist - The character who is the most adverse to the protagonist in pursuit of his goal.
Goal - The tangible or intangible objective of the protagonist who pursues it through the story with increasing intensity.
Ascending Action - Increasing effort to achieve a goal which requires greater commitment from protagonist
Obstacle - Impediment to achieving the goal or objective.
Crisis - The point at which the protagonist must either give up or go for broke, the point of return, and no going back. When the protagonist must either give up or give his all in one final effort.
Climax - When the major dramatic question is answered, the point to which all action builds, and the point at which the conflict is resolved.
Descending Action - The point after the climax of a story when loose ends are tied up.
Through Line - An item or idea repeated throughout the story to represent and prove the theme.
Internal Conflict - The character's conflict within himself usually visible only in actions.
External Conflict - The character's conflict with the environment outside himself.
Character Development - Character traits best revealed in the action of the story and the dialogue of the characters.
Plot - A sequence of events arranged to create a story.
Flashback - A look back in time from the point of view of a character
Subplot - A plot operating simultaneously to the main plot. Sometimes a mirror image of the main plot.
Back Story - The events operating at the time of the story that contribute to the plot.
Synopsis – A short (usually one single spaced page) outline/description of a story.
THEME -- The message or moral proven in the action of the play. Perhaps the most important element of a play or musical.