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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Does It Have To Be Three Acts?

People get hung up on 3 Act Structure in screenplays, and all it really leads to are "problems in the second act." These problems come because the hour long "second act" has no "turning points" or "act breaks" within it as described in most screenwriting books.

The truth is that 3 Act Structure is a myth; or more accurately, it is just one way, among many, to think about "structure." You can look at movies as having four acts, or eight (usually called sequences.) In this link, a very funny blogger makes a case for the 5 Act Structure of Iron Man. A five Act structure leads to more complexity and character development.  (See Film Crit Hulk)

If it was good enough for Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet, its good enough for your rom-com. :)

2 comments:

Peacehammer said...

Hey Sean, Matt Hiebert from Fitocracy, been following your blog for a while. Are you familiar with John Truby and his approach to structure? If so what are your thoughts? Some of my friends are obsessed with him and base all of their critiques and input on his work.

P.S. Finally saw Conan. I liked it. And I write fantasy novels. So, take that for what it's worth.

An American Patriot said...

Here's an interesting article by James Bonnet, author of "Stealing Fire From the Gods":

www.writersstore.com/whats-wrong-with-the-3-act-structure

Mark O'Bannon :)