Acts

These are those huge chunks of narrative Aristotle uncovered way back when. He said there were only three--beginning, middle, and end--when in reality the structure of the story dictates the number of Acts in a work. Two Acts. Three Acts. Four Acts. It all depends on other dynamic factors and could be different across different Throughlines. Thankfully, Dramatica figures it all out for us so we can concentrate on writing the story our heart tells us to write.

03-13-2014

The Science of Storytelling

The Dramatica theory of story is the most comprehensive understanding of our need to tell stories.

Monumental leaps in understanding herald the progress of man. Fire. The wheel. Indoor plumbing. Dramatica. The latest development in our understanding of narrative has the potential to improve things far better than the ability to cook our meat.

07-31-2014

Structure Is Not What Happens When

A comprehensive understanding of story structure leads one to appreciate what is being said, not what is seen.

Separating out structure from writing leads to disaster. Failure to understand that the two work in concert to provide a message of intent to the audience fractures productions and removes responsibility of content from the creators. Story is structure.

02-23-2017

Identifying The Number Of Acts In Your Story

The number of Acts in your story depends on the underlying thematic material you wish to explore.

In Hollywood, every film is a Three Act structure. Roam the halls of the story department at one of the big animation studios or saunter in to a lunch meeting for production executives on a live-action film and you encounter the same sight on every white board: a sequence of events broken down into three separate sections.

03-25-2017

Generating Dramatic Tension Within Each Act Of Your Story: Part Two

For Two-Act structures, tension exists with the juxtaposition of two key plot points.

The Goal of a story demands a specific progression of events from beginning to end. Drafting tension onto these events involves less guesswork and more precision if the Author hopes to completely enthrall the Audience. Great tension demands greater intention.

05-22-2017

Problem-Solving and the Order of Acts Within a Story

The order in which an Author presents the thematic material of their narrative relies on the specific technique the Main Character uses to resolve problems.

07-17-2017

Why You Need Four Acts Instead of Three

The middle of a story requires greater definition than the beginning or the end.

Many writers break narrative down into Three Acts. After all, what could be simpler than Beginning, Middle, and End? Unfortunately, this idea that the “Middle” somehow stands equivalent to Beginning and End leads many to write incomplete and broken stories.

09-19-2022

Why Four Acts Are Better Than Three

The Middle of a story deserves just as much respect as the Beginning and End. It provides crucial context for the characters' actions and decisions.

Many break narrative down into Three Acts. After all, what could be simpler than Beginning, Middle, and End? Unfortunately, this idea that the “Middle” somehow stands equivalent to Beginning and End leads many to write incomplete and broken stories.