So what are the "Three Acts." Simple, beginning, middle, and end. Ok, if you are like me, you need a little more explanation.
- Meet the character
- See his/her normal life
- Meet or hear about the antagonist
- Can be from 1/5 to 1/4 of the book or movie
- Rising Action
- After each choice or action there are less and less choices until...
Although the three acts are very important, the transitions between the acts are important, too. For instance, in the beginning you meet a likable character who lives in a house with a white picket fence. He/she will not leave the house unless something forces him/her to leave it. (In some cases kicking and screaming).
The transition (or gateway) must be such that it forces the character to leave and not come back. Like in Star Wars, when Lucas' aunt and uncle are killed.
Also the transition from middle to end must grab the reader into knowing that this action or reaction is the only way... to overcome adversity (or the antagonist).
I spent a couple of years studying literature. This is the first time that I have an inkling about story structure and I have read stories for years. I wonder what it says about me when I say that the essay structure is the easiest to write. :-)
It has a beginning, middle, and end.