Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Screenwriting
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-08-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
SundownInRetreat
Member
 
SundownInRetreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,885
Default 33 page act one

I'm aiming for my rom com to be 100 pages max. As it stands though, my first act is 32 pages long. I know the pros say to ignore page count and all that but this is the one myth I am struggling to let go of - where the suggested optimum breakdown is Act I = 25%, Act II = 50% and Act III = 25%. If I carry on as I am, Act I will be 33% of the script, leading to a shorter Act II.

I have a 2 page sequence that, I suppose, could be excised or shunted into Act II and that would bring my Act I down to 30 pages and through snipping away I could probably get it down to 28 pages.

Am I worrying too much or is an Act I being 33% of the script too much?
SundownInRetreat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
ATB
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,289
Default Re: 33 page act one

This is a first draft, right?

Just write it. Then go back and trim the fat.
__________________

ATB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:42 PM   #3
SundownInRetreat
Member
 
SundownInRetreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,885
Default Re: 33 page act one

I trim and tweak as I go along. Probably why it takes me longer to finsih a draft than I'd like. I've already trimmed plenty off. I understand your logic though and will carry on. Out of interest, do you ascribe to the 25/50/25 rule/myth?
SundownInRetreat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:44 PM   #4
Patrick Sweeney
Moderator
 
Patrick Sweeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 952
Default Re: 33 page act one

It's really a difficult question to answer. Can a 33-page Act I work? Certainly. Does it work in your script? Hard to say. Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Does it take too long for the story to kick into high gear? Do I spend too much time setting things up? Do I hit each major story element once and move on, or do I beat them into the ground in redundant scenes out of fear a reader might miss something? Can any of this information be revealed as the story unfolds, or does it really all have to be front-loaded?

Also, one thing I find myself doing a lot in first drafts is what I call "writing to myself." I'll write whole sides of dialogue, sometimes entire scenes, that when I look back on them are really me trying to justify something to myself (in the guise of "explaining" an apparently aberrant character choice or plot twist to the audience). Of course, it's only a first draft, so maybe some of that is necessary just to get through the process, but in the end it all has to go, so you might look out for that kind of thing, too.
__________________
Patrick Sweeney
Patrick Sweeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
NoirDigits
Member
 
NoirDigits's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 645
Default Re: 33 page act one

You're over-thinking this, in my opinion. Don't worry about an arbitrary page number or percentage. Just worry about telling your story.

The appeal of a system like this is there's a concrete number you can focus on, but the reality is you just have to feel it. It's working or it isn't working.
__________________
Ring-a-ding-ding, baby.
NoirDigits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:49 PM   #6
Why One
Member
 
Why One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,776
Default Re: 33 page act one

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Sweeney View Post
It's really a difficult question to answer. Can a 33-page Act I work? Certainly. Does it work in your script? Hard to say. Here are some questions you can ask yourself: Does it take too long for the story to kick into high gear? Do I spend too much time setting things up? Do I hit each major story element once and move on, or do I beat them into the ground in redundant scenes out of fear a reader might miss something? Can any of this information be revealed as the story unfolds, or does it really all have to be front-loaded?
+1
Why One is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
christopher jon
Member
 
christopher jon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,194
Default Re: 33 page act one

In before Craig Mazin.

Calculate Less.

__________________
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue
christopher jon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
InfiniteJest
Regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Plymouth, Ma.
Posts: 282
Default Re: 33 page act one

Now you'll have a nice compact 2nd act...MAKE IT TIGHT!
__________________
He who laughs last is mentally slow
InfiniteJest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #9
killertv
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 579
Default Re: 33 page act one

You're worrying too much. Page count is just a number until you get into rewriting. Maybe you'll realize a scene in the middle of Act 1 really belongs in the middle of Act 2. Maybe you'll decide to cut the scene entirely. Maybe you'll just cut it down from three pages to one.

The best thing you can do right now is finish your rough draft. Then worry about the details. But it's a lot easier to know if 33 pages is long after you figure out how long the rest of the script ends up.
killertv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 04:26 PM   #10
Patrick Sweeney
Moderator
 
Patrick Sweeney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 952
Default Re: 33 page act one

Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher jon View Post
In before Craig Mazin.

Calculate Less.

I hate to risk re-igniting the whole Pros vs. Gurus thing, but I believe the point of "calculate less" is not "don't think." While I agree with ATB that ideally, Sundowner would be better off finishing the first draft before worrying too much about Act I (certainly wish I could do that, anyway), "is my Act I too long" is an entirely legitimate question to ask, even if the writer's really the only one who can answer in the end. Should Act I end on p.25 because Blake Snyder or someone else says so? No. Should Sundowner feel a twinge of concern that Act I might be dragging on a little at 1/3 of the total page count? Yes. (Actually, as a newer writer working on a first draft, Sundowner probably should have that twinge no matter how many pages long it is).

At least in my non-professional opinion.

(PS If this sounds like I'm trying to jump down Christopher's throat for what I suspect is a joke, I'm really not. Just voicing my thoughts on something that's become kind of a meme here lately - it's all good.)
__________________
Patrick Sweeney
Patrick Sweeney is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker