A quick guide to the seven plot points in classic Hollywood-style story. A vast majority of films, both inside and outside Hollywood, can be broken down into these seven plot points. You can apply these to your own films as well!
Hook: Intro to the world and characters. Grabs the audience’s attention.
Inciting Incident: the catalyst that begins the main action/conflict
First Act Turning Point: the protagonist(s) get(s) involved in the conflict
Midpoint: a significant event spins/changes the main conflict (this is not in every film)
Second Act Turning Point: the low point, or a significant development that changes the direction of the story. The “all hope is lost” moment.
Climax: the final face-off between your protagonist and the opposition.
The Resolution: the fallout or result of the climax.
Imagine: You’re hopelessly in love with your boyfriend, Jughead Jones. When the subject of physical intimacy comes up one day with your best friends, you find yourself afraid and in doubt.
Saturdays were one of your favorite days of the week.
Veronica would pull up in her luxury car and take you and Betty to the Galleria outside of town. You both would follow her around as she surveyed the newest imports and replenished her gorgeous wardrobe, talking and laughing the whole time. The wares of the Galleria were far above anything you could ever afford with your minimum-wage income, but you adored the two girls you would spend the day with.
Veronica always had the best gossip. Mostly passed along from Kevin, who refused to join (”I will not play into that gay stereotype!”), Veronica always had stories ranging from the scary to the scandalous to the just plain hilarious.
“And the cross-country team caught her getting it up the ass on a stump in the woods!” Veronica said, laughing over her kale smoothie.
“Ronnie!” Betty scolded, face red. You could tell she was suppressing laughter as well, sipping on her strawberry smoothie.
“Anyway,” Veronica said, slapping her hands on the patio table in finality. “What about you, (Y/N)?” She grinned devilishly.
So this is my layout for creating playlist for people based on their birth chart information and how to apply it to music. Feel free to use this however you want; this was inspired by something I found online and just tweeked it some so I take no full credit for this at all; this is just for fun!
1. Dominant Planet* for Birth Chart = Overall Theme of Playlist 2. *Planets = Tempo/Feel of Song Sun = Upbeat/Fiery Moon = Emotional Mercury = Lyrical (either Dancey or Calm depending on overall theme) Venus = Slow/Relaxing/Romantic Mars = Fast beat/Aggressive Jupiter = Upbeat/Dogmatic Saturn = Structured/Classic Uranus = Strange/Futuristic Neptune = Psychedelic/Dreamy Pluto = Lyrical; Deep/Powerful 3. Signs = Genre (varies based on overall theme and tempo) Aries = Rock n’ Roll / Punk Rock / Jazz / Alternative / Rap / Heavy Metal Taurus = Rock n’ Roll / Punk Rock / Classical / Gospel / Jazz / Folk / Alternative / Blues / R&B / Country Gemini = Pop / Pop Rock / EDM / Jazz / Reggae / Rap / Heavy Metal / Trendy Cancer = Pop Rock / Classical / Gospel / Blues / Oldies Leo = Rock n’ Roll / Pop / Pop Rock / EDM / Gospel / Folk / Alternative Virgo = Classical / Heavy Metal / Indie / Jazz Libra = Pop / Reggae / R&B / Classical / Trendy Scorpio = Punk Rock / EDM / Gospel / Jazz / Rap / R&B / Blues / Heavy Metal / Indie Sagittarius = Rock n’ Roll / Pop Rock / EDM / Reggae / Folk / Rap / R&B / Heavy Metal / Foreign / New Age Capricorn = Classical / Alternative / TImeless Classics Aquarius = Rock n’ Roll / Punk Rock / Gospel / Reggae / Folk / Alternative / Techno / Electronic / Progressive Pisces = Pop / Pop Rock / EDM / Jazz / Reggae / Blues / New Age / Dance / Movie or TV Soundtrack / Video Game Soundtrack 4. Houses = Lyrics or Subject 1st House = Self / Appearance / Self-Identity / Personality / Physical Body 2nd House = Money / Possessions / Values / Self-Esteem 3rd House = Siblings / Transportation / Intellect / Early Education / Communication 4th House = Home / Family / Childhood / Roots / Relationship with Parents 5th House = Children / Creativity / Interests / Hobbies / Drama / Romance / Dating / Sex 6th House = Health / Food / Work / Daily Life 7th House = Love / Marriage / Quarrels / Separations / Cooperation / Sharing 8th House = Death / Sex / Legacy / Occult / Loss / Transformation / Healing 9th House = Philosophy / Religion / Law / Morals / Travel / Foreign Places / Dreams / Wisdom 10th House = Status / Reputation / Honor / Career / Achievements / Responsibilities / Sense of Duty 11th House = Friends / Community / Hopes / Goals / Wishes / Ambition / Social Groups / Humanitarianism / Liberty 12th House = Hidden Self / Mental Illness / Escapism / Self-Undoing / Secrets / Grief
Anyway, I’m likely going to be working on this sorta thing after the birth chart analysis’ I’m doing. Have fun using this if so inclined.
Diagram from John Yorke’s ’Into the Woods’ (classic book about narrative structure).
I’ve read a lot of excellent analysis of Sherlock, but none that explicitly addresses narrative structure in terms of acts. If we assume each act is a series, and each episode is one step within each act, this does seem to fit with Sherlock falling in love with John. (The use of ‘problem’ is unfortunate terminology in this case, but if we consider that Sherlock sees emotion as abhorrent, then it is a 'problem’ in that sense. Bear with me.) I’m not suggesting that the writers have deliberately explicitly followed this structure (Moffat has said he hates discussing structure and just tells the story), but that (as Yorke explains) good writers cannot help following this structure because THIS IS HOW STORIES WORK.
Act/series one: from no knowledge of what love feels like to a knowledge of it as he and John meet and become close, saving each other’s lives.
Act/series two: from a refusal to acknowledge that he loves John (separating himself from him physically frequently in ASiB, eg the hitchhiker scene, Battersea Power Station where he is present but unseen), to an acknowledgement of it (TRF).
Act/series three: Experimenting with the knowledge - testing out John’s feelings (eg in the tube carriage in TEH), key knowledge about John (take your pick from everything in TSoT), and experimenting with key knowledge of problem (making sacrifices for John and Mary).
Act/series four: Consequences. Fear. Anxiety. (All of which fits with what we’ve been told.) Full knowledge (an actual confession of love?). The worst point (Mary-related? Moriarty? Mycroft? All of them? Gaaaahh).
Act/series five: Final choice (John vs some major aspect of The Work?), final battle (Moriarty/another antagonist kidnaps John, perhaps?), then mastery of knowledge (canon Johnlock relationship, throwing of confetti, uncorking of champagne, much merriment throughout the land).
If anyone has more on this idea I’d love to read it.
Tagging a couple of excellent people below for your thoughts if you’re interested.
your poetry is really beautiful. how do you write poetry without rhyming? does that style have a name?
the style that i write in is called free verse! unlike traditional poetic forms, it doesn’t adhere to any rhyme scheme or meter, so instead of sounding classical and highly structured, it ends up sounding more like something you’d say out loud. this is because free verse specifically takes inspiration from natural patterns of speech.
with free verse, there isn’t any set determination to how long or short your lines should be, or where your lines should break. that’s entirely up to the poet, and one of the reasons why i enjoy writing it. i personally approach poetry by writing a big block of text and then going back afterwards and putting in the line breaks where i see fit. sometimes you don’t even have to put in any line breaks at all if you don’t want to. that’s called prose poetry, and it can be just as fun to write.
an invaluable skill i’ve learned over the years is to break on strong words. ending your lines on a verb, a noun, an adjective, etc., allows the line to have a sense of emphasis, and all the more emphatic if you can start your next line with a strong word too. but you don’t have to adhere to these ideas either. it’s an arbitrary system that differs from piece to piece.
here are some free verse poems that i think do interesting things with the form:
Here’s a picture of Krem’s shoulders I posted yesterday. I’ve gotten a lot of comments on my edges. (Thanks! <3) It’s a deceptively simple trick I’ve been using since I first wrangled with Hawke’s armor last year. Works real well for this blocky Dragon Age style armor.
After my post about the last page of the S4 CD booklet X, I had a closer look and found some interesting things. This is the full booklet:
The tracks for the individual episodes are listed in form of structural formulas, i.e. they feature very prominently in the artwork of the booklet. However, chemistry as such does not play a decisive part in this series. Sherlock never works in Barts lab here, the formula of TS12 is never explained, the drugs he takes are not specified. The only time we see chemical formulas is in TST - with Toby.
What is interesting, though, is the fact that some lines in the formulas are open-ended, leading into nothing. Red herrings? Loose ends? Plot holes?
Now this is a good one as well. On the pages listing the tracks, the series is called Act IV.I, Act IV.II, and Act IV.III, clearly pointing to the concept of dramatic structure. Of course there are shows and films using a four-act structure, but the classic structure which has been extensively analysed in here, is the five-act structure. If applied to Sherlock, this would mean there should be a series 5.
Mirrors are one of the most defining visual and narrative features of the show. And they are used again in the booklet - not once, but even twice.
Sherlock mirroring himself - Eurus mirroring Jim and herself at the same time. This could be a hint that she show is about Sherlock using avatars like Eurus (and Jim?) in order to cope with his past issues and emotions.
Hello again @brwn-girl (shoutout to you for putting so many great asks in my inbox!)
The short answer to your question is to make lots of films. Long, short, fancy camera, crappy camera, classic story structure, experimential… doesn’t matter. Just make films that mean something to you. Even if you have a bad camera and your actors are unwilling or reluctant friends and family, make something because that is the only way you will improve.
But don’t just make films. Make films that challenge you in some way. Question yourself, the world around you, your ideology, life… Challenge yourself technologically. Use new equipment, new cinematography styles, new storytelling methods, new editing techniques, new sound design…
There is a book called Outliers that discusses success. In it, the author claims it takes 10,000 hours for someone to become an expert at anything. This is just as applicable to filmmaking as it is to any other job. You have to have experience and learn from mistakes if you want to get better at anything.
The second part of this answer is to study other works of art. Don’t just watch mainstream Hollywood films or rewatch the same television show for the fifth time. Watch a foreign film, an indie film, an experimental film, a short film, an innovative film. Ask yourself why you like a film. Ask why you don’t like a film.
Read books and essays that discuss philosophy or psychology (in regards to art or to life in general). Apply what you learn to the stories you want to tell. Read or watch interviews with accomplished filmmakers to learn why they make certain films or why they have certain styles. (Better yet, conduct interviews yourself.) Mimic filmmakers you admire, but then find your own unique style. Learn about the world, about life, about people, and about yourself. If you want to make great films (or great art) it should say something about reality. So explore and question life as much as you can so you can do the same in your films.
Morrison entered a space that framed all literature and written expression through a white lens and completely disrupted the way “classic literature” is structured. Not just by her presence, but Morrison’s work challenged the very design of the narrative.
Hello! One Direction song spaces just came on my Shuffle, I couldn't help but notice the similarities in theme and lyrics two two ghosts. Do you think that these two songs could be related, as far as when they were written? They seem like two sides of the same coin.
Musically it is a simple song. The opening verse moves in small ascending intervals, almost like spoken poetry. Rhythmically it is straightforward, most words sung on the beat. The harmonic progressions are simple as well (in theory terms, the opening is “Same lips red- I, Same eyes blue- I, Same white shirt, couple more tattoos- IV, It’s not you, and it’s not- V, Me- IV, I - IV - V - IV, a classic sequence).
I was thinking about it because a song came on my shuffle, and listening to it, it sounded remarkably similar to Two Ghosts. It was this song:
Hannah, by Ray Lamontagne. The harmonic progression of the opening sequence (I - V - IV - V) isn’t exactly the same, but the overall feel - the perambulating rhythm, the balladic verse structure, the descending figure in the chorus (”Not who we used to be” cf. “I’ll lay down this bottle of wine”).
I thought about the song structure in particular, because Harry had tweeted the lyrics. Many people thought this might have been a reference to Louis’ girlfriend at the time, Hannah Walker.
But then, I realized that a lot of songs share this structure, including Spaces(I - V - IV - I, also a classic harmonic progression).
The structure of the choruses
It’s not who we used to be
Spaces between us
share a similar descending fourth interval, and share a modulation from from the subdominant chord (IV) to the tonic chord ( I ).
Then I thought about Harry’s playlist from Another Man.
Whether evoking the pain of first love or investigating the challenges of the contemporary immigrant experience, Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche depicts human behavior in all its unruly complexity. In 2007, his gift for infusing rich, classically structured narratives with documentary-like authenticity resulted in the four-time César Award–winning The Secret of the Grain, a roving, multigenerational drama that follows a French-Arab family thrown into discord when the patriarch decides to pursue his dream of opening a portside restaurant specializing in North African cuisine. With its intimate exploration of the central role that food plays in forging cultural identity and familial relationships, the film becomes something more than a mere “imitation of life—it’s the rumbling real thing,” as Wesley Morris writes in his liner notes for our release.