Thursday, June 22, 2006

Forty Key Scenes

Maybe I should have posted this before everyone started their 14 day feature challenge? It's a simple device I use to plan out a script to make sure it flows properly. Here's how it works.

Key scenes are the major turning points in your script, inciting incidents, points of no return and major character obstacles. Simply put they are the important points of plot and character development for your main story.

They should roughly be spread out like this; 10 key scenes for act one, 20 for act two and another 10 for act three. Key scene 10 should be your first turning point and the end of act one, key scene 20 the second turning point and the midway point, key scene 30 is the third turning point and the end of act two, and key scene 40 the final scene.

If you write a paragraph for each key scene you then have a rough layout of your plot. Of course you don't need to stick exactly to the 40 scenes, these are just a guideline to the key moments in your plot. Other scenes should be inserted to cover sub plots, build and show character and move the plot along.

I hope you find this a useful tool as I certainly have.


Optimistic_Reader said...

Very useful tip, thanks - I might use it as a "way-in" to my beat sheet. I hate doing them but I know I need one for this script.

Robin Kelly said...

Yes, that's a more useful and less scary way than saying "how the hell am I gonna fill 50 pages?!"

Dom Carver said...

It also works for your subplots too so you can pace them out also.