#6 Screenwriter: Act I – II – III

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I’m familiar with the three act structure with stage plays but the movie version of the 3 act structure has it’s differences, I wont go into the differences in this blog because, I think it would take a book to cover the material. What I will try and set out is a movie in three acts.

In structuring a screenplay, there are three Acts — the Beginning, the Middle,
and the End. Act I and Act III are the same length, with Act II being as long
as both Acts I and III combined.

The Four Archetypes

Plot Points
A plot point is a discreet, unique and essential chunk of story information. In the hierarchy of scriptwriting it falls out above beats and scenes and just below acts.

Screenplay -Act – Plot Point – Scene – Beat

Forty-four plot points are needed to tell the story; itʼs up to the writer to figure out how many beats and scenes are necessary to flesh out those plot points. Using more or less than forty-four plot points will diminish the effectiveness of the structure.

The forty-four plot points are divided over the three act structure as follows:

Act I — The Orphan phase of the script — followed by the Central Question, which is the question that, once itʼs answered    definitively “yes” or “no,” the story — and the film — is over.

Act II — The Wanderer phase — In the first half of  Act II there are fourteen plot points.

Act II — The Warrior phase. There are another fourteen plot points in the second half of

Act III — The Martyr phase — There are-four plot points.

In the next blog I will flesh this out more using some of the information I’ve learned from software, video’s and online sessions.

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