Factors To Consider When Using Three Act Structure
The three-act structure is used in screenwriting. It is used when planning and implementing screenplays. It has been used since the rise of Hollywood. It involves the setup, confrontation and resolution. However, there are some writers who break the structure into further stages. Act I is about 25% of the script. Act II takes half of the script while Act III takes the final quarter.
Act I the setup has the main characters and dramatic situation. It is about what the protagonist is meant to overcome. You are not supposed to give a negative image of the protagonists. They need to have fear, weaknesses and failings. You have to introduce all this during Act I. 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.
The protagonist will have no choice but to overcome the incident. During the first ten pages, you should introduce your lead characters. Ensure that the central character does not fail to be in your script for a long time. You can also include more obstacles to your protagonist during the act. This is because the early obstacles are overcome early.
Act II is usually the rollercoaster of the protagonist. This is the highs and lows. This is where things get more intense. The tensions and threat is meant to make your protagonist to take action. They have to show progress and still not succeed. Major setbacks are involved 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 should be able to overcome most 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 which takes a quarter of the screenplay talks 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 manage to overcome the confrontations and win. The third act ends with an aftermath that is a single page or ten pages. It is advisable to have one to three pages. This is in order for readers to still have the high they achieved.
There is also the caveat which is part of the three-act structure but is usually ignored in most scripts. Majority of the writers change it or extend it. You need create time with the three-act structure. Professional screenwriters spend days and some weeks plotting the storyline of their scripts.