plot element

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Noun1.plot element - a component or element of the plot of a story
MacGuffin, McGuffin - (film) a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot; "the McGuffin was a key element of Alfred Hitchcock's films"
component, element, factor, ingredient, constituent - an abstract part of something; "jealousy was a component of his character"; "two constituents of a musical composition are melody and harmony"; "the grammatical elements of a sentence"; "a key factor in her success"; "humor: an effective ingredient of a speech"
References in periodicals archive ?
A part of culture, the babysitter has often been the plot element in many pieces of fiction, from literature aimed at teen girls to horror movies.
In fact, in the first and longest section of Assumption, "A Difficult Likeness," the informed reader occasionally hears echoes of Watershed, for instance, in Assumption's depiction of intraunit tensions within the FBI, and watches Everett recycle a few names and one notable plot element from The Body of Martin Aguilera--e.
For while the frame's history, topography, and societal problems match those of Serbia and its neighbors, its invented place-names (Saribor, Brejevina), blurred designations (the City/Belgrade, "our side"/Serbs), and a central plot element (the "diggers," Orthodox guests of Natalia's elderly host in Catholic Brejevina who hope to disinter and properly bury a distant cousin killed during in the war) suggest a hidden, deeper truth--the folk culture shared by "her side" and their former countrymen--that Natalia finds only by following the tales, for which the frame creates the context.
A "MacGuffin," McCrea explained, is a meaningless object - money, jewelry, a briefcase - that the film's actors would hunt throughout the movie, a plot element that would often disappear by the film's end.
Redmond suggests that recent readings of the play focusing on the British context in the light of James I's Union project have failed to make much sense of this plot element inherited from Boccaccio; be, however, endeavors to demonstrate how Shakespeare's emphasis on national potency in relation to sexual fidelity in the argument between Posthumus, Jachimo, and the other merchants overlaps with issues of national identity (whether English or British) in the rest of the play, as the playwright revives the troubling discourses of the Italianate Englishman and "Elizabethan Italophobia" (184) in this Jacobean play.
A plot element in a film is often called a Macbeth or a MacGuffin?
There is nothing resembling a last-minute birthday present in this long awaited, well-written book, which is the result of many years of reflection over an essential, but previously overlooked plot element in music dramaturgy: recognition.
To give an example of the kind of thing Ellroy does, he will introduce a plot element that you think will take the whole movie to resolve--and then he'll resolve it in some unexpected way in the very next scene.
While researching a plot element about abalone poaching, he contacted the DFG and learned about the Special Operations Unit, which targets commercial poachers.
Though the central plot element (which is partially drawn from Elizabeth Spencer's novella, The Light in the Piazza) is tragic, critics note that instead of becoming mired in grief, Hamilton is interested in the nature of sympathy and the powerful metaphor of a vibrant, happy life stopped in its tracks.
Some of the fans may have already read some of the leaks about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," but the new leaks from the movie give more details about a familiar plot element from the movie.