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  1. SuperVenom

    SuperVenom Contributing Member

    Nov 11, 2010
    Likes Received:
    South Wales

    3 parts to a problem.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SuperVenom, Jul 17, 2014.

    I watch a lot of the internets, in particular watching movie reviews. The one thing that becomes glaringly obvious when reviewing a BAD film was the lack of a 3 act structure.

    This got me thinking......Does writing also need the 3 act structure?

    I wondered that because it is a totally different medium does it has its own set of rules (I know about the Monomyth- Hero's journey). Ie. does the 3 act work better at movies because it allows a story to be entertaining and seemingly deep for such a short time span (1hr 30mins). Where as a novel, due to the readers time spread out more allows for a a longer act structure. I mean would the act structure be the chapters??

    So many questions.
  2. Nilfiry

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Eternal Stream
    It is all the same. Every movie has a script after all. Good writing will have a beginning where the settings and characters are introduced, the middle where the rising action leading to the climax takes place, and the end that contains the resolution. The three parts of a story does not have to be guided by chapters. Chapters just break the long story into organized chunks.
  3. Kite2

    Kite2 New Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Blackfoot, Idaho
    It is basically the same thing but the acts have to be a bit longer and in a series of books one book can be just a portion of one of the acts, depending upon how many books there are, but when i write i find it better to view it as a flowing story than a bunch of acts
  4. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    The equivalent in literature would be dramatic structure. Traditionally, you have exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. Though this idea was first put forth to describe plays, it works pretty well for novels and stories as well. That being said, there are certainly pieces of fiction that don't follow this structure, but this fact alone doesn't necessarily make them bad. One example I can think of is Joyce's "Araby." The story ends with the main character having an epiphany. This, for me, is the climax of the story, so there's no falling action or resolution to speak of. The same applies to some of his other stories as well.
    SuperVenom likes this.

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