Wednesday, June 6, 2012

12-Step Screenwriting: Week 2 - Three-Act Structure

It's time for another episode of the Bitter Script Reader YouTube series!

This is the second chapter of a 12-part series designed to guide and motivate a writer to complete a screenplay within three months.  Recognizing that I had an opportunity to reach a new audience via YouTube, I decided to start with the basics.

This week's video covers the basics of the three-act structure, something every writer should know.

As you can see, this is back-to-basics information, but hopefully some of you will take up the challenge of completing a screenplay alongside the weekly lessons in this series.  I've done my best to minimize the jargon here.  So while at some point we'll be talking things like Act Breaks and Climaxes, but I won't ask you to commit things like "Fun & Games" to memory.

As always, it really helps me out to see some engagement with these videos, so please click through to the YouTube page, Subscribe and leave a few comments there.  Feel free to embed these on your blogs, and if you find the tips useful, tweet about them or put the videos on your Facebook page.

I hope that in three months time, a lot of you will be reporting back with completed screenplays.


  1. HI BSR - in remembering the main points of Act I - is the order of these important? Should the be introduced basically in EMTSI? I know the I should be last since it's the moment that propels the story forward, the first plot point. What about the others? EMTS or STEM or MEST?

    I know this seems a bit over thinking but acronyms, initialism & setting important steps to song help me remember.

    Thanks BSR

    Tara Lee

    1. I tend to think of it generally in the order in which I present them, but that's not an iron-clad rule and I'm sure you could find exceptions easily.