Posted by: steveonfilm | February 1, 2008

The Second and Third Ten Pages: Chapter Eleven Exercise – Summary

Well, what more can I say. This exercise is about writing the second and third ten pages of your screenplay. Syd does a good job breaking down what the second and third ten pages should accomplish.

As I’ve said before, I’m not going to go too into depth about what Syd says (get the book if you want to know). I just wish he’d said some of this before we started the first ten pages. I think it would have helped with the pacing. In addition, if you know how you want to break act one up, it makes pacing it that much easier.

I’m actually going back and tinkering a bit with my first ten pages. Syd says specifically NOT TO DO THIS, but I am anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not changing a bunch of stuff up. I’m just concentrating a bit more on what the first ten pages is setting up. As I said in my post about it, I feel I accomplished what i wanted to do. Problem is, a bit of what I want to get across in the second ten pages seeped into the first ten. So all I’m doing is correcting that. Not a big deal.

Another thing I wanted to say was that you don’t really need to write “ten pages.” The first act is typically around 30 pages, but it can, and usually does, vary from that. Syd can be very rigid in what he says about what should happen on what page, but I find that if I follow that formula too much I tend to fluff out scenes that otherwise would be much tighter. I’m writing to fill the page allotment, instead of writing to do what I need to do with the scene.

So, if you only have 8 pages for your first “ten pages” no big deal. Same goes for the second “ten pages” and the third “ten pages.” The goal is to properly pace and set up act one so that plot point one can happen the way it needs to.

Listen to me, I sound like I know what I’m talking about. HA! Look, I’m not an expert. I’m just trying to say that there are no “rules” for this stuff, just guidelines. I’ve read enough screenplays to know plot point one doesn’t always happen on page 30. But I’ve read enough to also know that it’s usually pretty close to it.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to this exercise. The first ten pages came out pretty easy and quickly. The second and third ten should flow out pretty well too. It’s act two I’m worried about, but I’ll leave that until I get there.

I don’t know if I’ll post up the second and third ten pages together in one post or not. I’ll have to wait and see how it looks. I think 20 printed pages might be a bit too much for one post. Maybe I’ll split them up after all. Who knows? I’ll get to that when I get to it.

But now, lets get busy.

Enjoy.
-Steve

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