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 "...Writing A Screenplay Using Structure" 
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Post "...Writing A Screenplay Using Structure"
Screenwriting, Screenplays, Screenwriters - Writing A Screenplay
Using Structure
By Kal Bishop

Effective screenwriting relies on the good understanding and
use of structure.

Inexperienced screenwriters may believe that structure inhibits
creativity, but experienced writers know that following a
template helps them to problem identify, generate ideas, select
good ideas and develop them to reach that all important
words-on-paper first draft – structure is not a hindrance but
an enhancer of creative output.

If doubts about structure still exist, then they are soon
eliminated – when screenplays are presented to decision makers
for evaluation, writers soon learn that structure becomes an
important part of the evaluation process.

A writer, through an individual and tortuous process of trial
and error, may develop templates, or he or she may use one of
the classic templates such as the Hero’s Journey. But a writer
will rarely admit to the use of templates (it reduces the
perception of originality) or he or she may be only mildly
aware that they are following a process.

The Classic Hero’s Journey story structure template contains
106 sequences and more than 30 in the final act alone. It is an
evolution of Campbells’ original model, containing only 17,18 or
19 sequences, depending on who the interpreter is.

There is a theory that there are only five jokes in the world.
Similarly there is a theory that there is only one story in the
world. An analyses of nearly all the stories produced by
Hollywood bears this out from a certain perspective and the
Hero’s Journey would be this universal template.

But from the one universal template are derived many
descendants, and one of those is the NO WAY BUT DOWN story
structure. In it, the anti-hero heads for self-destruction as a
result of his own misdeeds and the betrayal of a shape shifter,
allies and goddess et al. It is more exploratory of the darker
side of human nature and behaviour and there are no happy
endings…but it still makes for a fascinating story.

The Classic Hero’s Journey and the No Way But Down story
structure templates can be found at

You can also receive a regular, free newsletter by entering
your email address at this site.

Kal Bishop, MBA

About the Author: Kal Bishop is a management consultant based
in London, UK. He has consulted in the visual media and
software industries and for clients such as Toshiba and
Transport for London. He has led Improv, creativity and
innovation workshops, exhibited artwork in San Francisco, Los
Angeles and London and written a number of screenplays. He is a
passionate traveller. He can be reached on


This article was re-printed by permission.

[Note: Due to size restraint, the subject line's title had to be abbreviated. Appologies to Kal Bishop. - Admin.]

Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:02 pm
 [ 1 post ] 

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