Writing Tips

How to Structure your Screenplay (Jargon free): PART TWO

​Part Two

Here we are going to finish discussing how to structure your screenplay. We’ve reached the exciting part now where it’s all action and consequences for our beloved protagonist!

45 (Mid Point)

Congratulations if you made it to page 45 as you’ve reached the middle of your screenplay! Here there is usually a confrontation of sorts; this can result in a false victory for your protagonist or a depression after a lost battle as they begin to believe it is hopeless. In romances, for example, the boy might finally win the girl for a brief period of time or in a thriller the protagonist may suddenly be kidnapped and trapped.

In the case of trucker girl she experiences a brief high as she is able to recover her lorry from the bandits with the help of her ally. She now believes that her entanglements with the bandits are over and she can focus on locating her brother but she will later find she is mistaken.

50-55 (Pinch #2)

As stated earlier the ‘pinch’ is used to reinforce what is at stake and that is true here but with it usually comes a sudden realisation about the overall quest. It should remind the audience of the central conflict.

Trucker girl is in for a rude awakening after her brief victory in retrieving her lorry as she arrives at the next outpost to discover a terrible scene of bodies, missing children and injured victims that have been attacked by the bandits. It serves to reinforce why she will have to face them before rescuing her missing brother.

60-65 (Plot Point 2)

Plot 2 should serve to drive the narrative in to the Final Act as there is a major twist or preparation for battle as the protagonist has finally accepted what must come next.

Trucker Girl’s drive in to the third act arrives when she encounters the stranger who first betrayed her in Plot Point #2. The stranger reveals that children are being recruited by the bandits for a more sinister purpose and that trucker girl’s brother is with them. This revelation sets a new course of action in place and a countdown against the clock to rescue the brother before it is too late.

70-85 (Climax)

If you’ve made here congratulations! We are at the final hurdle; it is the final epic battle to achieve the protagonist’s goal, where everything is at stake and there are no clear winners. Here there are losses and achievements. Who wins? You decide.

The climax in trucker girl reaches a crescendo as she goes in to battle against the bandits in her final attempt to save the missing children and her brother. She faces a one on one battle with the lead antagonist while the battle rages on.

85-90 (Resolution)

There have been losses and gains through the course of the screenplay and now the final battle is done. Now is a time to reflect and explore how your protagonist has grown as a person and the consequences of all that has transpired. It acts as a short conclusion and ties up any final threads; in romance this would be the wedding, in horror the escape from the monster, in an action film it could be the celebratory party.

Trucker girl celebrates her reunion with her brother, establishes a friendship with the stranger and forges the beginnings of a romantic relationship with the ally as they all move on from all that has happened.

There have been tears of frustration, gasps of horror and lots of laughter as your characters have grown and reached their happily ever after. We’ve done it! We successfully planned how to structure our screenplay in a simple and jargon free manner and hopefully achieved a clean screenplay with a clear structure. Hasn’t it been a journey and a half? TTYL

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