A first act creates the context: the facts a reader needs to understand the story going forward. It contextualizes a lot of things including: Character Who are we following and what's their deal? What’s their archetype? what are their distinct traits? What do they want? Take a movie like THE VERDICT. At no point does... Continue Reading →
Three act structure falls into a category I call “useful bullshit.” Typically arguments over three act structure become a tedious fight about whether it’s always the best or whether it even exists. It’s a mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without necessarily holding it to be true. Therefore, I... Continue Reading →
Three act structure. Just by using that term, I have guaranteed that a sizable percentage of the people who read this will have stopped listening. Those people are busy composing angry replies about how stupid and/or malevolent I am. I look forward to reading those. I get that people hate three act structure, but the... Continue Reading →
Here's a quirk of human nature: we form opinions early, and then we cherry pick facts that support the notion we formed. Go visit /r/politics or any mac vs pc argument, and you'll see this principle illustrated vividly. I learned 3 act structure early (Syd Field's screenplay). It helped me, so I like it, so... Continue Reading →
This has been floating around the internet for years, but you might find it useful.http://www.pixartouchbook.com/blog/2011/5/15/pixar-story-rules-one-version.htmlOnce upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
People occasionally cite Film Critic Hulk's indictment of the three act structure to me. I've always hated it. Film Critic Hulk's original post. My version with more standard and readable grammar. I translated it into plain English because I've always suspected that Film Critic Hulk uses his style to obfuscate poorly thought-out ideas and an extremely tenuous... Continue Reading →
Blake Snyder was, by all accounts, a nice man. He tragically passed away in 2009. I'm not here to disrespect the man. That said, this is a Hater's guide to his book, Save the Cat, in case you ever have to quote anything about it to someone who's taking it way too seriously. PART ONE... Continue Reading →
The three act structure is the Coca Cola of screenwriting theories. It states that stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Its simple vagueness allows it to apply to pretty much any story. When people say that the three act model has its flaws, they have a point; when people say that it doesn't... Continue Reading →