Three Act Story Structure — Screenwriting

The three act story structure is the most often used in screenplays as well as novels. The line of events in a screenplay or story can be broken down into three parts or acts — act one, act two, and act three.  Each of the three acts mark fundamental shifts within the story structure.

Act 1

Act one is a set up this is where we get to know where does the story take place when does it happen and of course who is it about this is a state where everything is in balance.  This is the everyday normal life of the hero then something happens called a inciting incident.  This throws things out of balance giving are hero a new desire a new mission or a goal.

Act 2

This leads us to the second part of the story act two the development this is where the greatest part of the story takes place. This is where we will get to know how are characters will achieve their goal.  They are facing more, and more conflicts challenges this is called progressive complications this leads us to the crisis end of act two this is the place in the story where anything that can go wrong goes wrong, leading guests to the final battle, the climax.

Act 3

After solving this greatest conflict in the movie, we get to the final part the resolution.  This is where the balance in the hero’s life gets restored. This is three act structure.

I want to explain to you about the three act story structure, and about the hero’s journey both of these two things are as old as humankind itself.  Taking you all the way back to the epic of Gilgamesh 5,000 years ago, and it’s the same kind of story structure then as it is now.  We as humans have always had this story structure that we like to hear stories about, and, there always has to be conflict, adventure, and those kind of things.

No one wants to watch a movie where there is no excitement because that is not very interesting so something interesting has to happen, and that’s what a hero’s journey is all about.  When you go into a theater to watch a movie for the first time you don’t really know what the movie is all about although you may have seen some trailers about it.

Your friends may have told you about it you may have heard about some of the actors of actress in it you might know that it takes place in Space, or Ancient Rome or wherever it may take place usually you don’t know too much about it.  You have what is called tabula rasa it is a Latin word if you think about it you can probably decode it in the English language a word that kinda sounds like Tabla is tablet and rasa in English is like the word race in essence tabula rasa is like a blank slate a tablet that’s been erased so that’s like your mind your open because whatever is about to happen you don’t know.

The first ten to fifteen minutes of a three act movie structure is called the exposition the exposition is that part of a movie where you are beginning to get introduced to the Hero, and the world the Hero lives in.  There is no law that says you have to use the three act story structure when writing a screenplay, but it is the most common and accepted structure.

As an artist you have the right it’s called artistic license so you can change it around however you want.  If you fiddle with it too much however the audience will not recognize it they will be freaked out like whoa that does not make sense to me.