The Six Most Important Scenes

Before you begin to write your outline, I'd like to review the importance of writing causal scenes. Remember, all of your scenes must be related to one another. One scene should lead into another and originate from the previous scene. For instance, all the scenes in Act I should include those that set up the problem and give information to your audience. In Act II you include all those scenes that create complications and obstacles to prevent your main character from reaching his goal. In Act III all your scenes will lead to the resolution and the climactic scene.

However, to break the script down even further you can also think in terms of the six most important scenes in your structure. These scenes are your guidelines for all scenes that follow.

The first scene you should start with is the Climactic scene. Until you know the ending, as I've stated over and over, you can't write your script. After you have determined the ending, the next scene to develop is your opening scene, the scene that sets off your story with a problem to be solved or a goal to be reached.

The other four key scenes are the opening scenes for Act II and Act III, and the last scenes of Act I and Act II. These six scenes are of major importance. They are the blueprint for you to use as you begin to fill in all your other scenes. Knowing this blueprint will make writing your outline very easy. The end of Act I is also known as the 1st Turning Point of your script. It is when the main character can't keep on going as she has been and the action is turned around into Act II, when your character's actions take a new direction.

The last scene at the end of Act II is known as the 2nd Turning Point of your script. Your script is at a high point of drama and again your main character is at a crossroads or turning point. She can't ever go back to the way things used to be. This is the next highest point of drama and leads the main character into Act III, which propels the action into the highest point of drama, known as the Climax and it's the end of Act III.

To help make your screenplay manageable it's important to understand and be familiar with these major scenes. Another important scene in your screenplay is known as the midpoint. It is in Act II and at the middle of your script, around page 60. In a romantic comedy the midpoint is where the great romance, which was going along smoothly suddenly changes because of obstacles and problems. This is known as the midpoint of the script because it's actually halfway through the screenplay.

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