Essential Tips About The Three Act Structure
The three-act structure is used in screenwriting. It is method that is commonly used during the planning and implementation of screenplays. It has been used since the rise of Hollywood. It involves the setup, confrontation and resolution. There are some writers who later break down the structure more. The approximate timelines are Act I that takes about 25% of the script. The second Act takes 50% of your script while the third Act is 25%.
Act I involves the main characters and has situations that are dramatic. It is about what the protagonist is meant to overcome. The protagonists are not to be portrayed perfectly. They should have their failings, weaknesses and fears. All this is introduced during the first act. The protagonist at some point will have to get over their shortcomings. The inciting incident has to take place. It will assist in getting things in motion.
The protagonist will have no choice but to overcome the incident. During the first ten pages, you should introduce your lead characters. Ensure that the central character does not fail to be in your script for a long time. Also, consider including more obstacles during the act to your protagonist. This is because the protagonist tends to overcome the early obstacles much earlier.
Act II the confrontation which takes half of your screenplay is the rollercoaster for the protagonist. This are the highs and lows. This is where things get more intense. The tensions and threat is meant to make your protagonist to take action. They should show progress but not succeed. Involve a major setback that will push the stakes higher. This pushes your protagonist to their lowest point making them defeated and unable to go on. Most writers involve various obstacles. The protagonist needs to overcome majority of the obstacles but not the last one. They need to suffer a big setback that will not have the will to continue plunging them to despair and turmoil.
Act III the resolution that takes 25% of the screenplay begins with the rise of the protagonist. They get the energy to continue battling. They create a plan to overpower what hinders them. They are able to overcome the difficult confrontations and emerge winners. The third act ends with an aftermath that is a single page or ten pages. It is best to keep it short by one to three pages. This is for the readers to maintain the highs they have achieved.
There is also the caveat which most scripts ignore as part of the three-act structure. Majority of the writers change it or extend it. Have time to come up with the three-act structure. Most screenwriters take days and some even weeks.