Sequencing Method

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Sequencing Method

    I was wondering if anyone uses this to write?

    Somehow I missed this until recently...

    I did a search on it, but most of the posts here seem to be outdate and the links are dead.

    It seems that pretty much Act I (2 sequence) Act II (4 sequences) and Act III (2 sequences).

    8 mini movies.

    I guess I kind of did that now. I remember some book saying, maybe Syd Field that every 15 pages something major should happen to keep us on track.

    Love to know more about from those you used it.

    Right now I'm really enjoying Save the Cat (even though nothing is perfect).

  • #2
    Re: Sequencing Method

    My own personal way of looking at it, there are 5 sections.

    First section - appx. 1-12, setup to inciting incident
    Second section - appx 13-30 from inciting incident to plot point 1
    Third section - appx 30-60 from plot point 1 to midpoint
    Fourth Section - appx 60-90 from midpoint to plot point 2
    Fifth Section - big finish
    Sent from my iPhone. Because I'm better than you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sequencing Method

      You've pretty much summed it up, Bono.

      I've had a couple of scripts work out well when I've written the equivalent of 8 loglines, one for each sequence, and used these as my outline (I added them as script notes at the top of each sequence, which gave me clear direction).

      -Derek
      Check out the results of the Valentine's Day short script contest in Writing Exercises forum

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sequencing Method

        I wouldn't write without the sequence method. It literally changed my writing life forever. I have cut and pasted part of a post about it on the Rouge Wave:

        The 12 Sequence Outline:

        Imagine that each sequence in your script describes approximately 10 pages of material (ten minutes of screen time) and that your script is about 100 to 115 pages long (work with me people; The Wave-inatrix is quite loathe to set down rigid numbers on topics like these as there are always variants by story and by writer. So these numbers are flexible and approximate):

        ACT ONE: 30 pages
        Sequence One: 1-10
        Sequence Two: 10-20
        Sequence Three: 20-30 - first plot point or pinch

        ACT TWO: 60 pages
        Sequence Four: 30-40
        Sequence Five: 40-50
        Sequence Six: 50-60 - the midpoint
        Sequence Seven: pages 60 to 70
        Sequence Eight: pages 70 to 80
        Sequence Nine: pages 80 to 90 - the second plot point or pinch

        ACT THREE: 10 to 15 pages
        Sequence Ten: pages 90 to 95
        Sequence Eleven: pages 95 -100 - climactic ending
        Sequence Twelve: pages 100 to - fill in blank - the tag

        Okay so immediately you'll notice that sequences 11 and 12 don't have ten pages; here is a good place to note that while generally each sequence will have about ten pages, the further you go along in your script, the more compressed each sequence becomes.

        Julie Gray



        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sequencing Method

          I seem to just blurt out the first draft - using a very loose outline, which I refine after after I've completed the first draft. But I keep a sort of mental note in the back of my head regarding where acts end and major plot points etc.

          I'm one of these writers who likes to have a general idea of where I'm going, but still likes to discover things along the way. I don't like to be bogged down with too much structure.

          Different strokes I guess.
          Last edited by Terrance Mulloy; 04-20-2008, 01:55 AM.
          @TerranceMulloy

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sequencing Method

            When I asked Deus (pro writer Jay Simpson) about this on twoadverbs, he told me that in each sequence, the protag has a mini-goal. It was a Eureka moment for me, changed the way I write. All of a sudden my middle acts didn't die, nor were they padded. All of a sudden my protags were active, not passive.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sequencing Method

              I hope Han Shot First chimes in on this thread because he swears by the 'sequence method'. I think he posts about it over at 2A in more detail in this recent 'sale' thread.

              For me, the sequence method (eight) is pretty much fool proof for writing that structrally perfect script. It's like using the HERO'S JOURNEY for plotting. But the good thing about sequencing is that is can be used for any story, not like HERO'S JOURNEY which is just for that myth based story.

              EJ

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sequencing Method

                Here's the book that most (and I think Han is one of them if I recall correctly) recommend when talking sequence:

                http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...g+the+sequence+

                I ordered it yesterday.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sequencing Method

                  One reason the sequencing method is useful is that it allows for incremental development of your story.

                  Nobody writes 110 pages in one session. You need to break the job into parts.

                  You start off with a high level of granularity and an abstract notion, for example, it is a comedy set in a custard pie factory. If you don't like that idea, you can rapidly and easily change it, because at the moment, it is just one big granule. Lets say you do change your mind: a tragedy set in a custard pie factory. Yes, that works better.

                  Making changes at this level saves a lot of work later!

                  The incremental feature of the Sequencing Method means that you know what to do next: break the story from one granule into smaller pieces. You won't grind to a halt, because you know in principle what needs to be done.

                  You outline your sequences, and then break them into smaller units, adding greater detail and more concrete ideas as you progress.

                  I think training oneself to be able to go from an initial idea, like being trapped on a custard pie desert island, to a complete story outline with fleshed out sequences is important for a screenwriter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sequencing Method

                    I'm a devotee of the sequence method too. I use it to outline all my scripts.

                    I blogged about this recently, giving various links. A link to Julie's article is there & I mention Gulino's book.

                    http://writing-building.blogspot.com...hod-links.html

                    Get as much info as you can & experiment. This method can be extremely helpful if you find organizing, structuring & plotting difficult-- and who doesn't?

                    "Trust your stuff." -- Dave Righetti, Pitching Coach

                    ( Formerly "stvnlra" )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sequencing Method

                      It really has been the best thing for me, this sequencing. It guarantees you'll never have a dull page because whether you use 8 sequences or 12, you are crafting what they call at USC, "mini-movies" with a beginning, middle and end, with a mini-goal for your main character and with tension built right into it. Each sequence leverages you into the next sequence. You can also pick up whole sequences and see if that sequence might play better at a different point in the script.

                      I was at a lecture at UCLA, given by one of the co-writers of Monster's Ball and he said something that further inspired me, which is to give each sequence a title, sort of like a dvd chapter title. That helps me stay focused on what the goal and entertaining essence of that sequence is.

                      Julie Gray



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sequencing Method

                        Originally posted by La Femme Joyeuse View Post
                        It really has been the best thing for me, this sequencing. It guarantees you'll never have a dull page because whether you use 8 sequences or 12, you are crafting what they call at USC, "mini-movies" with a beginning, middle and end, with a mini-goal for your main character and with tension built right into it. Each sequence leverages you into the next sequence. You can also pick up whole sequences and see if that sequence might play better at a different point in the script.

                        I was at a lecture at UCLA, given by one of the co-writers of Monster's Ball and he said something that further inspired me, which is to give each sequence a title, sort of like a dvd chapter title. That helps me stay focused on what the goal and entertaining essence of that sequence is.
                        I agree. Getting adept at sequences keeps you focused.

                        But I luvvv that title-the-sequence tip. Even better.
                        Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sequencing Method

                          Good thread people.
                          Since I sensed a sudden lack of appreciation for my presence, I hopped out of the Jumpy-jump, snatched my glow-stick from the fridge and galloped away on the Rent-A-Pony. - Stolen from Jcorona

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sequencing Method

                            I agree Boski but in my case, I really didn't understand the sequential narrative (sequence system) and when I finally figured it out, it was like, EUREKA!! I wish I had known it from script #1, but I guess there is a natural evolution to most everything....

                            Julie Gray



                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sequencing Method

                              Sequence method is most visible in action movies because of... Well, the action sequences.

                              If you want to see the Sequence Method in the flesh look no further than all your "Die Hard" movies:

                              -Under Siege
                              -Air Force One
                              -The Rock

                              It's as plain as day if you know what to look for because each action sequence is a mini-movie of the good guy(s) struggling to accomplish something immediate while trying to rescue the hostages and retake the building/island/plane/boat/train (the overall goal).

                              Action movies in general seem to lend themselves more naturally to the sequence method than other kinds of movies...

                              BUT as has been stated, Sequence Method is much more universal and can be used with dramas, comedies, and any kind of genre you want to write if you know how to use it properly. This is also what most beginners lack a lot of times more than any other singular element: Mini-movies and dramas that keep the narrative engaging to a reader and the narrative moving forward.
                              Positive outcomes. Only.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X