Screenplay Structure

The Ultimate Guide To Non-Traditional Screenplay Structure

Traditional three act screenplay structure basically goes like this: a protagonist is landed with a problem in Act 1, (the set up) attempts to solve it in Act 2, (the confrontation) and fails or succeeds in Act 3, (the resolution.)  What's wrong with it? It's too broad and it's too vague. There's actually much more…

Does Act 1 Of Your Script Contain These 12 Essential Beats?

In this post we're going to break down act 1 of the 500 Days Of Summer screenplay into Jeffrey Allan Schechter's 12 Key Plot Points of Act 1.  Despite it's seemingly avant-garde structure, the movie's Act 1 follows these 12 Plot Points, beats, or whatever you want to call them to perfectly. Does Act 1 of your script do the…

12 Key Scenes You Should Include In Act 1 Of Your Screenplay

Of all the screenplay acts, Act 1 of your screenplay is perhaps the most important. In fact, most readers at a company won’t even read past page 5, let alone page 25 to see if your script is up to standard. So, how do you make sure they keep reading? Past page 1, page 5 and…

The #1 Thing I Wish I’d Known About Structure When I Started

Below, I'd like to share with you the #1 Thing I Wish I Knew About Script Structure When I Started Writing Script structure can be a scary couple of words to aspiring screenwriters. Words that seemingly offer hindrance instead of help, and often make even seasoned professionals a slave...  But structure need not be scary. It…

Dumb Things Script Readers Say #1 “Don’t Use Flashback”

Yes, we’re script readers. But we also notice how many writers come to us with tales of being told by previous readers or script readers not to put certain things in their script. At all costs. Which is just dumb. In fact, there are certain devices that can greatly enhance your script — if you know…

Screenplay Sequences In (500) Days Of Summer

Thinking of using screenplay sequences in your script? Of shaking up your screenwriting and tackling a non-linear screenplay? Well, if you are, there's an important screenwriting lesson to be learned from the 500 Days of Summer script and how it utilizes sequences. Non-linear screenplays are easier to write than they look while watching them on screen. And that's mainly thanks to…

Act One Of A Screenplay Has Four Major Beats Not Two

Everyone knows Act One of a screenplay should have two major beats -- the Call to Action and End of Act Turning Point. However, there are another two major beats in Act One, that are essential to include if you want to write a rock solid opening to your screenplay. These Four Beats give the first…