Essential Tips About The Three Act Structure
The three-act structure is screenwriting. It is method that is commonly used during the planning and implementation of screenplays. It has been used since the rise of Hollywood. The three act structure has three core; the setup, confrontation, and resolution. There are some writers who later break down the structure more. Act I is about 25% of the script. The second Act takes 50% of your script while the third Act is 25%.
Act I the setup has the main characters and dramatic situation. It talks about what the protagonist is to overcome. The protagonists should not be portrayed as perfect. They must have their weaknesses and failings. All this is introduced during the first act. The story at some point will force the protagonist to confront and overcome their shortcomings. The inciting incident at some point will take place. It will assist in getting things in motion.
Your protagonist will be forced to respond for them to overcome the incident. It is advisable you introduce your lead characters in the first ten pages. The central character should not take a long time before they are introduced in the script. You can also add more obstacles to your protagonist as the act goes on. This is because the protagonist tends to overcome the early obstacles much earlier.
Act II the confrontation which takes half of your screenplay is the rollercoaster for the protagonist. This refers to the highs and lows. This means things need to get intense for them. The tensions and threat is meant to make your protagonist to take action. They should show progress but not succeed. You need to include a major setback to get the stakes higher. It pushes the protagonist to their lowest point making them unable to go on. Majority of writers include a number of obstacles to their protagonist in the act. The protagonist needs to overcome majority of the obstacles but not the last one. They need to suffer a big setback that will not have the will to continue plunging them to despair and turmoil.
Act III is about the rise of the protagonist. They finally get to energy to keep battling. They come up with a new plan for confronting what is ahead of them. They are able to overcome the difficult confrontations and emerge winners. The third act ends with one to ten pages of the aftermath. It is best to keep it short by one to three pages. This is for the readers to maintain the highs they have achieved.
Also, there is the caveat which is ignored by most scripts. They usually change it or extend it in a different way. Come up with appropriate time to make the three-act structure. Professional screenwriters spend days and some weeks plotting the storyline of their scripts.