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The Three Act Structure
What is the Three act structure, commonly attributed to Aristotle?
Simply put, it means that everything must have a beginning, middle and an end.
This is a tautology of sorts, since every type of art must start and end. It applies to life and death, the seasons, day and night, ad nauseam. What defines its practical utility, however, is its implication: Each part of the whole must also have a beginning, middle and an end.
Every screenplay must have a beginning, middle and end. The middle starts when the story can no longer go back to the beginning. The end begins when the story can longer go back to the middle. Moreover, every sequence, scene, shot, action or dialogue must also have a beginning, middle and end. Suddenly, what seems like a simple non-threatening ‘formula’ turns into a web of complexity.
This is where good books come in:
Syd Field’s Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
Richard Walter’s Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, Craft, and Business of Film and Television Writing
Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Three books with three totally different perspectives on writing. With these three in your kitty you should be covered for life.
Once you’ve written that screenplay whom do you show it to? Try Triggerstreet.
Do you need anything else? No.