Plot Point 2

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  • Plot Point 2

    In a screenplay there are typically five major turning points. The inciting incident(catalsyt), plot point 1(big event), midpoint, plot point 2(crisis), and the climax. My question is does plot point 2 have to be a low point where all hope is lost? Or can it just be a major event that propels us toward the climax? I ask because i been racking my brain on a script im working on and that major event works better as a non crisis. If anything it is a crisis for the antagonist.

  • #2
    Re: Plot Point 2

    You are a writer. You should have a sense of what the story needs when the story needs it. That is all you have. The "plot points" you're talking about are just recordings of story-trends that writers naturally come to.

    So, the answer is no. What you "feel" is right... is right.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Plot Point 2

      thats what i was feeling. I love reading about screenwriting theory and structure but lots of times i just want to throw it out the window and write the movie i feel inside.

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      • #4
        Re: Plot Point 2

        This thread would not be complete unless somebody quoted from one of the dreaded screenplay gurus.

        I distinctly remember that Paul Joseph Gulino says in Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach that the end of Act Two does not have to be the "low point" for the protagonist, and thinking it has to be is unnecessarily limiting.

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        • #5
          Re: Plot Point 2

          Originally posted by ricther View Post
          The inciting incident(catalsyt)...
          These are actually two separate beats.

          The Catalyst is when the first plot element surfaces.

          The Inciting Incident is the point where the plot collides with the hero for the first time.

          Example:

          In JAWS, the Catalyst is when the shark claims the first victim (drunk naked girl in opening sequence).

          At this point in the story, the hero, Chief Brody, has no idea what has happened. The story has surfaced, but has not yet collided with the hero.

          The Inciting Incident is when Brody discovers the girl's remains. This incites Brody to take action...hence the name INCITING Incident.


          The Catalyst is exactly that...it kicks off the story. The Inciting Incident is when the hero becomes involved in that story. Two different beats.

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          • #6
            Re: Plot Point 2

            Dude, you're confusing yourself. Just think: "Three act structure" - which is of course, logical (beginning, middle, end) - and get back to plotting; leave all these "beats" and "Chinese 5 Spice" things to the gurus (who haven't sold sh*t).
            Cufk, Tish, Sips.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Plot Point 2

              Originally posted by MrZero View Post

              I distinctly remember that Paul Joseph Gulino says in Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach that the end of Act Two does not have to be the "low point" for the protagonist, and thinking it has to be is unnecessarily limiting.
              Bolded for triple sauce truth.

              I regularly comment that many of my creative doors have shut because so much of this kind of sh!t has been drilled into my head by studio execs.

              It is very limiting. Don't take it on willingly because for some of you, it may be imposed on you in a way that is detrimental to your creative soul.

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              • #8
                Re: Plot Point 2

                Originally posted by Biohazard View Post
                These are actually two separate beats.

                The Catalyst is when the first plot element surfaces.

                The Inciting Incident is the point where the plot collides with the hero for the first time.
                I disgaree. The attack on Chrissie is the incident that incites the whole movie! Without it there is no shark threat, there is no terror and there is no need to hunt the shark Besides, the very phrase "inciting incident" indicates something happening at that moment in time, an event, momentum. Stumbling across decomposing is just passive, nothning is taking place as an event.

                I see catalyst and inciting incient as one and the same too, mpt that I think it matters. I think giving name to every little detail in a script is pointless. I just don't see how anyone can say that the attack on Chrissie wasn't an inciting incident or that finding the remains was.

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                • #9
                  Re: Plot Point 2

                  Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                  I disgaree. The attack on Chrissie is the incident that incites the whole movie! Without it there is no shark threat, there is no terror and there is no need to hunt the shark Besides, the very phrase "inciting incident" indicates something happening at that moment in time, an event, momentum.
                  What in the fnck are you talking about?

                  Incite is a verb meaning to stir, encourage, or urge on; stimulate or prompt to action.

                  Who is being stirred, encouraged, urged, stimulated and prompted into action?

                  The hero.

                  You cannot have an inciting incident that does not include the hero. Period. The hero is the one who is prompted into action, thus creating a plot. You cannot have a plot without a hero struggling to do something. The Catalyst is the moment or event that sets into action the story that the hero will soon become involved with, and this involvement happens precisely at the Inciting Incident.

                  This is Screenwriting 101, Lesson 1. If you don't understand that, understand this: you don't learn with your mouth.

                  Trust me, I learned that the hard way.


                  Originally posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
                  I think giving name to every little detail in a script is pointless.
                  This is where you are wrong. Neither beat is a "little detail in the script". They have a very specific purpose in writing for the screen. They help us understand how stories are told.

                  The hero's call to action (the incident that incites them to act) has a specific name for a specific reason and has a specific purpose. It's when the main character starts on their quest to *do something*. They cannot go on this quest unless there is *something to do*. The Catalyst is the beat that introduces that *something* and puts it on a direct path to our hero.

                  Catalyst = introduction of first plot element
                  Inciting Incident = hero's first involvement with that plot element

                  It's really that simple.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Plot Point 2

                    Originally posted by Biohazard View Post

                    You cannot have an inciting incident that does not include the hero. Period.
                    Not entirely true. Could be the antagonist who's incited to act. All depends on the story... friend-o.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Plot Point 2

                      Originally posted by ATB View Post
                      Not entirely true. Could be the antagonist who's incited to act. All depends on the story... friend-o.
                      Examples to back up your claim.

                      But in over 99% of hollywood films, it is the antagonist who acts first. This is usually during the Catalyst.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Plot Point 2

                        Originally posted by Biohazard View Post
                        Examples to back up your claim.

                        But in over 99% of hollywood films, it is the antagonist who acts first. This is usually during the Catalyst.

                        I'm not saying it's more common. Just saying it happens. There are no hard and fast rules.

                        Finding examples of films to back that up would require me to actually take a break from writing to watch films or read scripts... which I can't do right now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Plot Point 2

                          Originally posted by ATB View Post
                          I'm not saying it's more common. Just saying it happens. There are no hard and fast rules.
                          No, but there are things that WORK and things that DON'T WORK.

                          More often than not (much more often), the Catalyst-Inciting Incident structure works better than anything else.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Plot Point 2

                            Originally posted by Biohazard View Post
                            No, but there are things that WORK and things that DON'T WORK.

                            More often than not (much more often), the Catalyst-Inciting Incident structure works better than anything else.

                            To each his own. I prefer to write without the boundaries of so-called screenwriting structure. It's freeing.

                            Of course, if I go back and look at my writing, I inevitably find that it fits the mold. But it's by mistake. Not by reverse engineering, which is what I call it when you essentially "paint by numbers" by filling in your plot points to match the story beats taught in screenwriting bibles.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Plot Point 2

                              I don't follow screenwriting books. I watch films.

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