Friday, 1 April 2011

Storytelling: The Three Acts


The concept of three acts is at least as old as Aristotle. But one could argue that it's such a fundamental concept to everything – the concept of a beginning, a middle and an end – that it was there since before the beginning of time. (In fact the concept was created before the beginning of time, exists during the existence of time, and will disappear when everything all goes back to being merely inky thoughts in the mind of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.)

Below is a table showing how prevalent the concept of the three parts is in story-telling theories from all disciplines.

General Story
Beginning
Middle
End
3 Acts
Act I
Act II
Act III
Placement of the Hero
In place
Out of place
Back in place
General Improv Scene
Setup
Problem
Solution
Platform Model
Platform
Tilt
New Platform
Balance Model
Balance
Imbalance
New Balance
Routine Model
Opening Routine
Break the Routine
New Routine
Hero's Journey
Departure or Separation (from Ordinary World)
Descent and Initiation (to Special World)
Return (to Ordinary World)

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