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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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SixteenThe Three Acts

Let’s Break It Down

“A beautiful object, whether it be a living organism or any whole composed of parts, must not only have an orderly arrangement of parts, but must also be of a certain magnitude; for beauty depends on magnitude and order.”

(Poetics, Part VII)

Before we proceed, a word of caution.

Structure is not a formula.

Writing a good screenplay, or a good story in any medium, is not like constructing an IKEA® Kejsarkrona. It’s not about plugging the right plot point into the right pre-determined slot, though students of mine are often anxious for that simple solution.

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been asked on what page such and such is supposed to happen. If it were that simple, if there were a foolproof ...

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