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Old 12-19-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
JoeNYC
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Default Three Act Structure (Part 2)

SCREENWRITING GURUS’ STRUCTURAL MODELS

When you add to the three act structure equation the Screenwriting Gurus’ structural models with its act percentages, page numbers and specific order of events, i.e., Syd Field’s Paradigm, Blake Snyder’s structural Beat Sheet, Christopher Vogler’s 12 stages application to screenwriting of Joseph Campbell’s Mythology and The Hero’s Journey, etc., there are writers in the three act structure camp who want out -- and fast.

The anti-camp says the following about the gurus’ models: It’s formulaic. It’s predicable. It’s mechanical. It’s follow-the-dots. It’s coloring between the lines, meaning you MUST not color outside the lines or your art will be ruined. It makes your characters puppet-like. It’s like a security blanket to the writer, etc.

In the 1960s, Syd Field was a reader for a production company. He wondered why only 2% of the screenplays that he read were memorable, so he broke them down and analyzed them. In doing so, he discovered some recurring patterns, certain beats happening at the same time.

(Note: In my opinion, just because he found some recurring patterns doesn’t mean it was because of this structure that made the scripts memorable. It’s the art on the pages that made those scripts memorable.)

In 1979, he published a book with his findings called, “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting.”

In his book, he coined Act 1 as the SETUP, the first 25% of the story. Act 2 as the CONFRONTATION, 50% of the middle of the story and Act 3 as the RESOLUTION, the last 25% of the story. He says Plot Point 1 (an event that hooks into the action and spins it around into another direction; Linda Seger calls it the First Turning Point), happens at 25% of the story (page 25 for a 100 page script; page 30 for a 120 page script), which transitions Act 1 to Act 2.

Plot Point 2 happens at 75% of the story (page 75 for a 100 page script; page 90 for a 120 page script), which transitions Act 2 to Act 3.

Syd Field says there are many plot points in a screenplay, but the ones that anchor the storyline in place he refers to them as Plot Points 1 and 2.

Later, Field added a Midpoint (dividing Act 2 and the story in half; page 60 of a 120 page script) to the paradigm, where he says it’s, “an important scene in the middle of the script, often a reversal of fortune or revelation that changes the direction of the story.”

He says not all stories have a midpoint.

And later again he added Pinch Point 1 (halfway point of first half of Act 2)) and Pinch Point 2 (halfway point of the second half of Act 2) to the paradigm.

I was okay with his paradigm up to the Midpoint addition, but I could have done without the “Pinch Points” help.

Syd Field says the Inciting Incident will happen within the first 10 pages. In Blake Snyder’s structural Beat Sheet, he says the Inciting Incident happens on page 12. It’s the mention of these page numbers that drives the anti-camp crazy against gurus.

When naive and impressionable new writers read books on the craft of screenwriting that are on the top of Amazon’s best screenwriting sellers’ list, it’s possible that these new writers are going to be influenced to follow a guru’s model. Maybe even at the detriment of the story they want to tell, where they would delete or add beats, scenes, characters, set pieces, etc., so their script’s page numbers and events would exactly match a guru’s model.

I would like for these books to point out that, yes, the majority of scripts/movies will have an Inciting Incident (or whatever element and page number) occurring within the first opening ten pages to get the story going and not bore the audience, but what counts is what works for the story you, the writer, wants to tell.

And give examples: JAWS’ Inciting Incident, page 2, when the girl is killed by the shark. North by Northwest’s Inciting Incident, minute 6, Roger Thornhill is mistaken for George Kaplan by two bad guys and is taken away by gun point. THE ITALIAN JOB’s Inciting Incident, minute 21, double cross happens by one of the gang members. ROCKY’s Inciting Incident, minute 33, Apollo picks Rocky out of a list of fighters to fight him in a championship match, where this “A” throughline story starter doesn’t cross paths with Rocky until minute 53 when Apollo’s manager offers Rocky the fight.

The idea is, which new writers must understand, is not to take the gurus’ structural models literally. It’s to be used as a helpful guideline, not as an ABSOLUTE, UNBREAKABLE RULE!

The thought that the Inciting Incident MUST always happen on page 12, no matter what, is ridiculous. If a new writer doesn’t come, eventually, to understand this, then maybe “creative” writing isn’t for him.

The nature of the Inciting Incident’s function of one’s story calls for what page it’ll be found on. That is the controlling aspect, not a guru’s structural model, which its purpose is to be utilized as a guideline only.

The anti-camp says, what about the gurus’ list of specific events happening in a specific order on a specific page such as Blake Synder’s structural Beat Sheet with “Opening Image (page 1), Theme Stated (page 5), Set-up (pages 1-10), Catalyst (page 12),” etc., and Christopher Vogler’s adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s book, applying it to screenwriting with its 12 Stages of The Hero’s Journey?

There are many movies that include most, if not all of the 12 stages’ model (knowingly or not) presented by Vogler’s adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey,” i.e., “Ordinary World,” “Call To Adventure,” “Refusal of the Call,” etc, such as: ROCKY, MATRIX, STAR WARS, THE LOIN KING, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, etc. Are you going to try to tell me that this makes these films formulaic, predicable and mechanical? All these films were creative and engaging critical and commercial successes.

In another screenwriting forum, Christopher Vogler addressed the anti-camp’s noise about there are successful films that don’t include his stages or order, where it, the stages, being formulaic, predictable, connect-the-dots, paint-by-the-numbers, etc., where he said the following:

“I never claimed that every movie has, or should have, every element of my outline in exactly that order ... The point (about writing) is utility. If it’s useful, use it. If it’s not useful, if it gets in your way, makes you feel handcuffed, confuses you, or just seems bogus to you, don’t. ... The hero’s journey idea is a metaphor, and not, I hope, a cookbook recipe, a mathematical equation or chemical formula. ... It’s just another tool -- a very versatile and useful one, I think -- in the story-teller’s tool box.”

If a writer feels his Act 1 is 15 pages too short, or 15 pages too long because it didn’t fit the gurus’ structural models, I suggest that he looks to see if the first act accomplished the goals needed and included the elements needed that makes his story work. If the story works, then it’s not too short, or too long. You can ignore the gurus’ page numbers and/or events’ guidelines.

Easy-peasy, don’t you think?

In a Final Draft (FD) interview for their Blog, they asked screenwriter Ben Ripley (BR), SOURCE CODE, the following question:

FD: Do you follow a set method when you write? Randall Wallace once told me that he always laughs when people try to talk to him about the Inciting Incident in BRAVEHEART. He said you could name multiple moments in the movie and he would agree with you because he never sat down and said, ‘This is where I need my Inciting Incident.’ Do you follow a basic method or is it to just let the story tell itself?

BR: I do know what my first, second and third acts are. I do know what the midpoint is. I do know what the theme and the point of the story is and what the character’s journey should look like. But what Randall Wallace may have been alluding to is that in the process of creating, things shift around and what you thought the point of the movie is becomes something else. It shifts from draft to draft. It shifts from draft into production. It shifts from dailies into rough cut. It shifts again when rough cut becomes final cut. So, you might have a bunch of different midpoints during that whole arc. But I would argue that you would be well served before you sit down and write and spend some time to consider what could be some of those four or five important structural scenes. Because it gives you a frame to hang the story on even if it evolves away from that.

-- Two professional screenwriters who use two different methods when crafting their screenplays.

Writers and new writers must understand these gurus’ models are to be used as a guideline only.

WHY ARE THERE RECURRING PATTERNS IN A SCREENPLAY?

The anti-camp says, because it’s arbitrary a person could pick any random plot point to fit Syd Field’s paradigm.

This is a possible outcome in some instances, but there’s no doubt for the majority of scripts/films there is a clear and important Plot Point 1, Midpoint (if one is included) and Plot Point 2, that changes the direction of a story and moving it forward.

A natural recurring pattern occurs because of the natural nature of telling a story with its beginning, middle and end, having a balance, rhythm and symmetry.

I know there are stories told in an untraditional manner, but in most stories, something happens at the end of the setup of Act 1 (action, dialogue, visual, whatever), where the story’s direction changes and moves the story forward into the Act 2 arena with its confrontations, so, naturally, this will cause a recurring pattern.

End of Act 1 examples:

THE ITALIAN JOB - 106 minutes. The first 25%, end of Act 1, would be at minute 27.

In the movie, Plot Point 1 happens at minute 29 when Stella (Chalize Theron), legitimate business owner cracking safes, calls Charlie (Mark Wahlberg), gang leader, to tell him she’s in for his plan to rob back the gold that Steve (Ed Norton) stole from the gang’s last job.

When Charlie approached Stella earlier and told her that he found Steve and needed her help to crack his safe, she refused (”I’ve moved on”), but later she changed her mind because in the double cross to steal the gold Steve killed her father, the gangs safe cracker. She phones Charlie and says, “I want to see the look on that man’s face when his gold is gone. He took my father from me. I’m taking this.”

Now that Charlie has the safe cracker specialist that he needs to crack Steve’s impregnable Worthington 1000 safe, his plan can move forward, which moves the story forward into the Act 2 arena.

This is not an arbitrary plot point. This is a clear and important event that changed the direction of the story, moving from Act 1 into Act 2. There is no other plot point in the ballpark of the script/film as important as this one to perform this function.

GONE WITH THE WIND (released in 1939, 40 years before Syd Field’s paradigm) - 256 page script. Midpoint, 50% would be page 128, which happens in the script at page 126 when a starving Scarlett stands in her mashed vegetable garden, looks up to the heavens and proclaims:

“As God is my witness...As God is my witness...They’re not going to lick me!...I’m going to live through this and when it’s over I’ll never be hungry again...No, nor any of my folks!...if I have to lie - steal - cheat - or kill! As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

Not arbitrary. A clear and important event/revelation that changes the direction of the story, moving from the first half of the story and first half of Act 2 into the second half of Act 2 and the story. You’ll find no other plot point in this ballpark to perform this function.

(In the filmed version, this Midpoint event shifts where it happens within 10 minutes of the halfway point.)

SPARTACUS - 193 minutes. End of Act 1 (25% would be at minute 48) - Minute 49 to 53: The head guard teases Spartacus about his beloved Valancia being taken away from the school for Rome and in a rage Spartacus attacks and kills the head guard. This incites all the other Gladiators to attack the guards.

End of Act 1 happens at minute 53 where Spartacus is now free and leads a rebellion.

End of Act 1 event is not arbitrary. It’s a clear and important event that changes the direction of the story, moving from Act 1 into Act 2. There is no other plot point in the ballpark as important as this one to perform this function.

I’ve purposely used SPARTACUS as an example because I heard the anti-camp say, “the important thing is to tell a good story and deliver the goods. Don’t worry about having three distinct acts, who cares where the first act ends in SPARTACUS. What difference does this all make to the story? How would this help you understand how your story works?”

The anti-camp said: “who cares where the first act ends in SPARTACUS,” etc.

I would say the audience cares. They don’t want to be bored. They want to be entertained. A well, balanced structured story helps to accomplish this.

Does a writer have to write with the three act structure in mind to entertain an audience? Of course not.

A writer could have written instinctively, without an outline, without the three act structure form, and still come up with the same Spartacus’ rebellion event at the Gladiator School that moves away from the setup and into the confrontation aspect of the story.

The problem is that some of those writers, as I demonstrated with the SPARTACUS example, who write instinctively use their strong voices to tell writers who do like to use the three act structure form that it’s not needed, it’s restrictive, it’s worthless in crafting a great story, etc.

CONCLUSION

When it comes to creativity, there are no rules.

If a writer feels more comfortable writing instinctively for their story development process, no outlining, and feels that’s what works for him to achieve a great completed screenplay, then fine.

If a writer feels more comfortable outlining with a three act structure, beginning, middle and end, in mind, and feels that’s what works for him to achieve a great completed screenplay, then fine.

If a writer feels more comfortable using a template designed by a guru and feels that’s what works for him to achieve a great completed screenplay, then fine, but with the caveat to keep aware that storytelling is organic and emotional in nature, so I suggest to use a guru’s template only as a guideline and not to unnaturally force your story to fit page number and/or event targets.

ANY method that works for a writer and his story is not wrong.

Last edited by JoeNYC : 12-19-2019 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 10:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

Aw, man! Gurus for lunch again?!?! Let it go, Joe!

In the meantime, why not work on your mechanics of English usage? To have to read so many errors and mistakes gives any script reader headaches. Yes, Story is paramount, but who will wade through a morass of errors to uncover it? While I didn’t bother looking for errors in Part I, here’s a list of some of the grammar and spelling problems with what you’ve written in this post:

three act (three-act)
predicable (predictable — this mistake is repeated throughout which means that it is probably not just a typographical error)
“… color outside the lines or your art…” (“… color outside the lines, or your art…”)
“… published a book with his findings called, “Screenplay…” (remove the comma)
“… of the middle of the story and Act 3 as the…” (“… of the middle of the story, and Act 3 as the…”)
100 page (100-page)
120 page (120-page)
100 page (100-page)
120 page(120-page)
ones that anchor the storyline in place he refers to them (add comma and lose “them” already introduced by “ones”)
120 page (120-page)
And later again he added Pinch Point 1 (And later again, he added Pinch Point 1...)
even at the detriment of the story they want to tell (to the detriment)
gunpoint (gunpoint)
double cross (double-cross)
predicable (predictable)
the anti-camp’s noise about there are successful … (... noise about how there are successful …)
the story you, the writer, wants to tell. (... you, the writer, want to tell...)
“Refusal of the Call,” etc, (etc.)
predicable (predictable)
hero’s journey idea is a metaphor and not, I hope… (... journey idea is a metaphor, and)
... formulaic, predicable and mechanical... (...formulaic, predictable, and mechanical...)
... mathematical equation or chemical formula... (... mathematical equation, or chemical formula...)
story-teller’s (storyteller’s)
tool box (toolbox)
multiple moments in the movie and he would agree... (... moments in the movie, and he would agree...)
...basic method or is it to just… (...basic method, or is it to just...)
...my first, second and third acts are... (...my first, second, and third acts are...)
midpoint (capitalize consistently)
...shifts from draft into production... (...shifts from draft to production...)
...from dailies into rough cut... (...from dailies to a rough cut...)
...anti-camp says, because it’s arbitrary… (...anti-camp says, because it’s arbitrary, a person…)
...beginning, middle and end... (...beginning, middle, and end...)
...having a balance, rhythm and symmetry... (...having a balance, rhythm, and symmetry...)
Chalize (Charlize)
double cross (couble-cross)
safe cracker (safecracker)
safe cracker (safecracker)
256 page (256-page)
...in the script at page 126... (in the script on page 126...)
...live through this and when… (...live through this, and when…)
Valancia (“Virinia” is her character’s name)
A well, balanced structured story… (a well-balanced, structured story…)
three act (three-act)
three act (three-act)
three act (three-act)
...a three act structure, beginning, middle and end, in mind, and feels… (...a three-act structure with a beginning, middle, and end in mind, and feels…)

Last edited by TigerFang : 12-20-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

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Originally Posted by TigerFang View Post
Aw, man! Gurus for lunch again?!?! Let it go, Joe!
TigarFang, you're bothered I'm discussing the gurus' structural models for my three act structure thread? There's a real controversy on this subject. This is not minor. This is something that could effect a writer's screenplay, where he could damage the strength of his story by forcing it into a guru's structural model.

I don't get your priorities.

In a thread called "How to show the audience POV?" the "we" word came up about how some people hate the use of it. When I mentioned that I don't hate the "we" word, I'm just not fond of the phrase "we see," you were high on my opinion where you posted: "Well said, JoeNYC. Thank you."

You're okay when I discuss something minor like "we see," but you're annoyed when I discussed something major like a guru's structural model?

"three act (three-act)"

The grammarian would like for you to follow the rule and use a hyphen for clarity. I purposely chose not to use the hyphen. I think three act structure was clear enough for people where they didn't need the hyphen to comprehend.

TigerFang, do you follow every grammar rule when you write a screenplay? I don't in order to capture a naturalness, rhythm, pacing, conciseness, etc.

I appreciate this type of thorough proofing with my screenplays that I'm gonna send out to contests and the marketplace. I posted my six opening pages of my screenplay in the SCRIPT PAGES forum and you private messaged me with 1 grammar error. I appreciated that and I thanked you.

The reason why you only found one grammar error of my 6 pages is because I took the time and energy to catch spelling and grammar errors by continuing going over the pages again and again before I send the pages or completed screenplay out for feedback, contests and the marketplace.

I'm not going to use this time and energy to proof my posts in a back and forth discussion of a topic of a thread on a message board. And I don't like it when people proofs these posts. It's annoying and sidetracks a thread.

I do my best to catch spelling and grammar errors as I'm posting, but errors will slip through.

I'm sure you could find errors in this post, but please don't.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

Structure is important. It helps a writer tell their story in a cohesive and organized manner.

I use Michael Hague, Christopher Vogler, Save the Cat, and this chart from a very bright novelist i found on Youtube...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54l835una7A&t=16s

It's a great webseries (i encourage you to watch them - only 12) and though the first 6 might seem "simple" they are a very powerful tool. i have the blue chart as a .jpg if anyone wants me to email them a copy.

I also have a two sided chart that lists the major story paradigms (Campbell's entire Hero's Journey, Vogler's The Writer's Journey, Hague's story structure, McKee's "Story," Sid Field, all on one graph. Once side is the visual structure, the other side is the bullet pointed structure.

John Truby is amazing at understanding genre/blockbuster story structure.

I don't give a lot of weight to writers who immediately claim structure analysts are some kind of hacks, especially without having read a word of any of their works. Nor do I believe that you have to be a working screenwriter to completely understand story structure or offer something valuable to screenwriters with respect to structure. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but how can you form an informed opinion on something you've never actually read?

Writers do not all learn the same way. Structure may be easier or harder. What matters is if these books, which are actual utilitarian tools imo, work for you as a writer. If they do, great, use them. If they don't, that's fine, too. If what works for you is a hybrid, fantastic, but don't let anyone tell you what is of value to you. Discover what works for you.

Also, the inciting incident for Jaws is not on page 2, it's page 7 when Brody finds the girl's body. An inciting incident offers an opportunity to the main character, it's something that happens to THEM.

The girl getting eaten by the shark is a "teaser," a device that grips the audience, and establishes both the tone and style of the fiim and at the time told us, "this is not like anything you've seen before."

But the story doesn't start until they find the actual body. If they never found the body no one would know there was a dangerous shark hunting the small beach town until another body was found or someone witnessed someone getting eaten. The story ONLY starts when Brody discovers the body.

Jaws has a very tight first act, the big PP1 happens on page 19 when after everyone decides to leave the beach open regardless of the possible shark, another child is eaten right in front of everyone. You can play with the numbers but, imo, the faster you get to the first plot point the better.

I agree that at the start, trying to hit these "markers" can help a writer establish a strong story spine and tight story structure. At the start of every story I write, the II is targeted at 10-12, plot point 1, page 20-25. Midpoint turn at 50-60. Plot point 2 75-85, and climax around page 95- 105. And if you add a prologue and it pushes the story structure out, then that's what it does.

The thing to remember is that viewers need things to change in a story at about 10-15 pages, because otherwise they loose interest and pacing begins to suffer-- the last thing any writer wants is a boring story.

so good luck to everyone. just don't be boring, but have a PLAN.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

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the inciting incident for Jaws is not on page 2, it's page 7 when Brody finds the girl's body. An inciting incident offers an opportunity to the main character, it's something that happens to THEM.
Now, now, are we gonna fight again.

In my opinion -- I'm not denying you of your opinion -- the killer shark tearing apart the female swimmer is the Inciting Incident that starts/kicks the "A" throughline story in motion where it crosses paths with the protagonist, the sheriff, finding her body.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

Not fighting at all.
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Old 12-20-2019, 05:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeNYC View Post
TigarFang, you're bothered I'm discussing the gurus' structural models for my three act structure thread? There's a real controversy on this subject. This is not minor. This is something that could effect a writer's screenplay, where he could damage the strength of his story by forcing it into a guru's structural model.

I don't get your priorities.

In a thread called "How to show the audience POV?" the "we" word came up about how some people hate the use of it. When I mentioned that I don't hate the "we" word, I'm just not fond of the phrase "we see," you were high on my opinion where you posted: "Well said, JoeNYC. Thank you."

You're okay when I discuss something minor like "we see," but you're annoyed when I discussed something major like a guru's structural model?

"three act (three-act)"

The grammarian would like for you to follow the rule and use a hyphen for clarity. I purposely chose not to use the hyphen. I think three act structure was clear enough for people where they didn't need the hyphen to comprehend.

TigerFang, do you follow every grammar rule when you write a screenplay? I don't in order to capture a naturalness, rhythm, pacing, conciseness, etc.

I appreciate this type of thorough proofing with my screenplays that I'm gonna send out to contests and the marketplace. I posted my six opening pages of my screenplay in the SCRIPT PAGES forum and you private messaged me with 1 grammar error. I appreciated that and I thanked you.

The reason why you only found one grammar error of my 6 pages is because I took the time and energy to catch spelling and grammar errors by continuing going over the pages again and again before I send the pages or completed screenplay out for feedback, contests and the marketplace.

I'm not going to use this time and energy to proof my posts in a back and forth discussion of a topic of a thread on a message board. And I don't like it when people proofs these posts. It's annoying and sidetracks a thread.

I do my best to catch spelling and grammar errors as I'm posting, but errors will slip through.

I'm sure you could find errors in this post, but please don't.
“TigarFang, you're bothered I'm discussing the gurus' structural models for my three act structure thread?”
Nope. It only seems to me that you have hammered this topic to death of the gurus’ structural models. Besides that, I was not too serious when I posted my opening line about gurus for lunch.

“The grammarian would like for you to follow the rule and use a hyphen for clarity.”
Yes, clarity is the keyword and what you ought to be going for when writing. It’s what everyone ought to be going for when writing anything. The symbols we use to write with — apostrophes, ellipses, quotation marks, hyphens — all have a purpose, especially when one is reading the words aloud. One of those purposes is to help make things clear.

In radio and TV copy, I used a slash where every comma went, and two slashes where every period went. That was so that I could see them coming as I read and adjust my pace, rhythm, and inflection accordingly. That way, I could “land” the sentence with the correct inflection.

A sentence ending in a question mark gets an upward inflection, while a sentence ending in a period receives a downward inflection. Without proper punctuation, a read is more stilted and uneven, even when reading silently to oneself. That’s the beef a good reader has with lousy writing.

Did you ever hear someone who ignores periods read sentences in a “run-on” way? Ouch. It hurts the ears, and it is hard to separate what is said to make better sense of it. The same thing applies to written words when they are read.

“TigerFang, do you follow every grammar rule when you write a screenplay?”
Well, I try like hell, but I’m as fallible as any of the rest of you Earthlings. When I took up screenwriting a while back, I discovered how much I needed to improve my grammar and punctuation skills, which was an awful lot. Lack of practice had eroded my former skills to what amounted to a steaming pile of horse dung. Thanks to a mentor here in these forums, I tried to turn that around pronto before casting any material out into the lake. The logic is that with better writing skills, I might land a bigger fish.

The only place in a screenplay to be free of proper English usage and writing mechanics, as far as I know, is in the dialogue.

Dialogue can help better define the characters and give the reader a good idea of how to imagine or picture characters. We’ve all read that here many times before, too.

My practice is to try to write well whatever and wherever I write, and that includes here on these forum boards. It’s good practice and helps to create better writing habits. Try it.

“And I don't like it when people proofs these posts. It's annoying and sidetracks a thread.”
Ah, well, you see, to any of us who read a lot — books, articles, scholarly texts, or what have you, well-written material, generally speaking — the annoying thing is when content is not written to the accepted standards of proper English usage.

Last edited by TigerFang : 12-20-2019 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

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[i]The only place in a screenplay to be free of proper English usage and writing mechanics, as far as I know, is in the dialogue.
Then you must not read many screenplays because writers often use incomplete sentences in their action/descriptions for pacing, rhythm, naturalness, conciseness, etc.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

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...writers often use incomplete sentences in their action/descriptions for pacing, rhythm, naturalness, conciseness, etc.
Yep. That’s true, too, in specific instances. It’s a matter of storytelling style for that point in a screenplay. At some point, though, you’re going to need to write a complete sentence or two in your screenplay. That’s what is being generally referred to in my post.
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Last edited by TigerFang : 12-20-2019 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 12-20-2019, 06:39 PM   #10
finalact4
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Default Re: Three Act Structure (Part 2)

[quote=TigerFang;970275][i]
“TigerFang, do you follow every grammar rule when you write a screenplay?”
Well, I try like hell, but I’m as fallible as any of the rest of you Earthlings. When I took up screenwriting a while back, I discovered how much I needed to improve my grammar and punctuation skills, which was an awful lot. Lack of practice had eroded my former skills to what amounted to a steaming pile of horse dung. Thanks to a mentor here in these forums, I tried to turn that around pronto before casting any material out into the lake. The logic is that with better writing skills, I might land a bigger fish.
[quote]

FA4: Oh, I had to do this, too. Glad I'm not alone.

Quote:
My practice is to try to write well whatever and wherever I write, and that includes here on these forum boards. It’s good practice and helps to create better writing habits. Try it.
FA4: Ouch, (raises hand) guilty as charged. I will strive to be better. I'm so used to NOT using capitalization in posts, that I'm constantly going back over posts to fix them. I don't have that problem when I write screenplays, though. Curious.
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“And I don't like it when people proofs these posts. It's annoying and sidetracks a thread.”
Ah, well, you see, to any of us who read a lot — books, articles, scholarly texts, or what have you, well-written material, generally speaking — the annoying thing is when content is not written to the accepted standards of proper English usage.
FA4: You have inspired me to be better.
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