1. sonosublime

    sonosublime Member

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    3 Act Structure in a Duology

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by sonosublime, Sep 8, 2018.

    Hi all,

    I have a pretty solid understanding of the 3 Act Structure:
    1. Hook
    2. Inciting Event
    3. 1st Plot Point
    4. 1st Pinch Point
    5. Midpoint
    6. 2nd Pinch Point
    7. 3rd Plot Point/Low point
    8. Climax
    9. Resolution

    But how exactly would these elements play out over a duology (i.e 2 books?).

    It would be a long plot arc unfolding over the entire 2 books. Logic would dictate that I could simply space out the major story beats with twice as much space between them.

    But from what I've heard, each individual book still needs to feature its own complete structure as well.
     
  2. Siberian

    Siberian Member

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    You've got the idea. I am working on a similar concept except my overarching plot is to span 8 books!

    I'm not hugely familiar (I have a rough idea) nor fond of the 3 Act structure as I like to write without adhering to so-called "rules" or "certain ways to do something". I focus on that after the rough draft is done. But, what I've found is that you need a main plot that spans every book until it's finished yet each individual book needs to have its own sub-plot that ties into the progress of getting to the last book. For example: (I'll give you Book 1 to keep it short)
    1. Book 1- Introduces the Main plot: Religious organization intends to resurrect ancient God's to bring back from the past what they consider to have been the "pure" times when people didn't rule over each other.
    2. Now that the Main plot (which is going to span the books) is introduced we now focus on the sub-plot of this book which is that said antagonistic group that's trying to resurrect the Gods has found an artifact that is essential to their goal.
    3. Protagonist/s now focus on finding the artifact first while simultaneously trying to stop said antagonists
    Then I would just apply the 3 Act Structure to each individual book. I'd first develop an outline of a 3 Act Structure for the Main plot and then create another outline for each book whilst keeping in mind the key points of the original conflict.
     
  3. Kallisto

    Kallisto Ruler of the world... somewhere...

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    Is the three act structure necessary? Shakespeare seemed to ignore it.
     
  4. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Lindsey Ellie did a wonderful three video series about the Hobbit movies. If you are at all interested in pop culture, film making, or LOTR, I'd recommend the video essays anyway. The whole thing is about movie length. At some point, she gets into the difficulties of adapting one book to three, three act structures. I found it fairly insightful, and it might shine some light on the problems you have or give you ideas for solutions:

     
  5. sonosublime

    sonosublime Member

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    That's interesting, I thought plays were huge on the whole 3 Act thing.

    Thanks for the great tip. Do you know roughly where she talks about the difficulties of the 3 act structures?
     
  6. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    No, sorry.

    Around the time she’s talking about Orlando Bloom not knowing if they are shooting part 2 or 3...
     
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  7. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan Member Supporter Contributor

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    At the time Shakespeare was writing, Horace's 5-act story structure was all the rage. It wasn't until later (like late 1800's to early/mid 1900's) that plays were divided into the three acts we're familiar with.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
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