Posts tagged ‘third act’

March 22, 2013

Quote of the Day: Charlie Kaufman

I don’t know what the hell a third act is.

April 11, 2011

Climaxing the Right Way (In Your Script)

This article by Candace Kearns Read lays out some important guidelines to follow while crafting the third act of your script, and particularly the climax:

The climax is the action the protagonist chooses to take after facing the moment of crisis, where he or she is pushed to the edge with no way out.

This section of the screenplay is what gives the rest of the story meaning. It often delivers the moral, or theme of the story and it is where the writer can make sense of everything. But endings are often the hardest part to write. That’s why too often, writers settle for the obvious or overly simplistic solution instead of digging deeper to find an ending that is both satisfying and surprising.

The Height of Intensity

The Chinese symbol for crisis actually delineates two words: Danger and Opportunity. This idea can help writers beef up the endings of their scripts. The moment of crisis, which leads to the climax, needs to be full of danger, either emotional, physical, or both. Something of great value is at stake – a human life, a relationship, or as Joseph Campbell calls it, “the treasure.” Whatever it is, it is in grave danger. But at the same time, there is an opportunity, for new life, for growth, and for a payoff nobody could have imagined 100 script pages ago.

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