Posted by: steveonfilm | December 16, 2007

The Paradigm – Exercise Three: Summary

With the quasi movie reviews out of the way, we’re starting to get into the meat and potatoes of the workbook. The real nitty gritty stuff. The things that are actually going to start shaping this screenplay up.

The third chapter of “The Screenwriter’s Workbook,” The Paradigm, deals with the standard three act screenplay structure. The reason Syd tasked us with watching those movies and splitting them into beginning, middle, and end was to get us ready for this next part.

You’re going to have to read the book to see how he goes over this stuff, but let me say that this is probably, at least in my view, the most important thing for a screenplay. Setting up the points in this exercise is like creating a blue print that your screenplay is going to follow. It’s the foundation that your drama, action flick, romantic comedy, or whatever else is going to be built on. If you do it right, and carefully, you’re only going to benefit yourself.

The exercise is to create the paradigm of the screenplay you’re going to write. Originally I was going to write my screenplay based on the stuff I came up with in exercise one, but I’m finding myself pretty interested in the thing I threw together for exercise two. So I’m going to roll with that one. Why just change things up on a whim? Hey, I’m not getting paid for this, so it’s not like I have to write about any one story idea. I’ve got a hard drive full of story ideas. Sometimes you just have to roll with what you’re in the mood for.

Back to the exercise, I need to come up with the structure of Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, and plot points 1 & 2 for my screenplay.

Attached to this exercise is the paradigm worksheet that Syd has on his website. I’ve included it for reference. When I finish mine, I’ll post a picture of it, as well as a typed up description when I post the results of exercise 3.

The Paradigm

Until then…



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