Sunday, June 21, 2009

Second Act

What a week it's been.

I'm into week three of my scriptwriting course and the learning curve is very steep. I am amazed at how much easier it is to analyse a script than to actually write one, not that we are writing scripts at all. The 25 of us (students) are spending hours and hours at the moment trying to figure out how the story we have in our head can be organised into 9 structural plot points within 3 acts.

I cannot tell you how difficult this is for me.

It took me an entire week of frustration to finally realise that my story has no 2nd act. I have a set-up, inciting incident, a climax and a resolution...but no significant setback, no change of plan, no mid-point ('no way back'), no 'things couldn't get worse' and no 'glimmer of hope'. It turns out that what I thought were my 'significant setback' and 'no way back' were simply interesting but minor 1st act scenes.

I have to try to be more dramatic. It looks like only a very difficult journey can lead to a truly satisfying happy ending.

You'd think I would have known that by now, hmph.

To end on a happier note (at least blog posts don't need to follow a particular structure....or do they?) here is the inciting incident from Tootsie:

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you're not good at writing, then WHO is.
Paola

Alby Mangroves said...

When in need of drama, why not insert a sex-change operation? I have no clue about your script, but surely that would liven things up a bit.

Frogdancer said...

Two of the kids and I enjoyed watching that!

Duyvken said...

Successful scriptwriting is a particuarly precise art. Building a strong structure around which a director and cinematographer can lay texture and colour, flesh on bone. I know you will be good at it because you already prefer the discipline of poetry over the ramble of prose and you are so good at poetry I see no reason you wouldn't be good at script writing. Can't wait to hear more about the story as it all comes together, and also about the course, it sounds divine!

A

Anna of Helylle said...

I agree with Duyvken, how wonderful to be in such a creative setting!
From the land of Ingmar Bergman comes the cheerful calls: Go Eleanor, go Eleanor!!

You know all Bergman films start with the "things couldn't get worse"-phase so you see, no need to be completely orthodox...
By the way, we never exchanged views about that film you watched, As in heaven - not really a favourite of mine, I must say. Best of luck!

kmkat said...

Well, duh, clearly what you have there is a TWO-act play. Nothing wrong with that. I am not aware that it is written anywhere in the Constitution, Torah, or Eight Rules For Dating My Daughter that a play has to have three acts. If your professor insists on three acts, you have my permission to show her/him this email.