Title

The Plot Point, The Darkest Moment, and the Answered Question: Three Ways of Modelling the Three-Quarter-Point

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2011

Abstract

Many contemporary screenplay manuals, following Syd Field, encourage writers to place an act break approximately three-quarters of the way through the story. Although this would appear to be an area of widespread agreement, this essay argues that the manuals do not always define the 3/4-point in the same way. One common approach is to define the 3/4-point as a causally significant plot point; another approach is to regard it as an extreme point on an emotional curve, typically the darkest moment; and a third approach is to conceive of the 3/4-point as the answer to a previously introduced question. Taking a closer look at these three competing models of the 3/4-point can help us uncover the manuals' competing assumptions about narrative structure, showing how they conceptualize causality, emotion and comprehension.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1386/josc.2.1.85_1

Publisher

Intellect

Publication Information

Journal of Screenwriting

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