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3 Act Structure Explained in Depth

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  • 3 Act Structure Explained in Depth

    We cover 3 act structure, the main plot points in film structure, and the reasons why story structure is so important for screenwriting and filmmaking,
    Never a day's rest.

  • #2
    Cool, thanks. I have read the act structure before, and wrote two feature length screenplays so far, but I cannot write a script with the 3 act structure in mind. I mean they say that half way through the first act, I am to introduce to introduce the inciting incident, but what am I suppose to have it be about before that? It won't take that long to introduce the main characters for the story so far. And after the inciting incident, what I am I suppose to have go on until the 'rising action' comes?

    Things like this are why I haven't followed the structure so far, as I couldn't come up with enough plot twists and turns to fill the whole script based on that formula. I read this article, not saying it's necessarily right:

    And after reading that I was able to fill my scripts with enough plot if I just didn't write them with the 3 act structure in mind, and just go wild. But that is just my experience and I understand how structure is important, and it's really informative and educational video on it Thanks!

    In fact I think my second script is structured like how what you said about Rocky. It's a three act structure, just a different, non traditional three act structure. My first script actually reads more like a five act structure actually, cause I have too second acts with different characters and subplots that all come together later, which both take up a substantial amount of time, and after the climax, the resolution is actually quite long, since the climax brought about consequences, that have be given closure, so perhaps a 17 page resolution, is an act in itself, if it's that long?

    Even if my first script is five acts, I feel that the second is much better. I was going for a big crime thriller epic for the first and threw in everything but the kitchen sink.

    The second, even though shorter, more low key, less plot cramped, with less characters and subplots, I feel is more powerful, cause it's just more emotionally dramatic and deals with darker and stronger themes, instead of just being much more plot driven but with less depth by comparison.

    But still the video is a good education and I will perhaps find it useful on my next one, now that I have already written two. Thanks. I also watched your video on titles right after, and that was really informative too! I have discovered that my titles are 'poetic titles' lol.
    Last edited by ironpony; 07-20-2014, 02:23 AM.


    • #3
      Thank you for commenting IronPony. My first Feature follows the three act structure as well but not like the traditional 3 act. I find that understanding the traditional way of doing it is just a rough road mad to follow (should your idea conform to that) but many movie concepts and story ideas will not want to follow this structure.

      When I find myself writing scripts that naturally want to deviate from the "traditional" structure then I allow myself to deviate from it and just write what comes to me. Then once I have the first draft written I go back and try applying structure in the rewriting process. All 3 act structure really does at the end of the day is ensure that you have enough change and evolution in your story to keep it engaging (minimizes redundancy). So should you deviate from the structure just make sure your story isn't repeating beats and eliminate as much redundancy as humanly possible and the script should still read well.
      Never a day's rest.


      • #4
        Yep, thanks. Actually now that I have studied the three act structure more thoroughly my second script follows it a lot more closely than I thought originally.