Is the Plot Diagram A Good Storytelling Reference?

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Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety


This is what I was taught in elementary school, that this is the best way to break down the events of a story. I have no idea why I'm not writing my script like I'm supposed to be right now, but I was daydreaming about teaching people about story structure as a way to start filmmaking and I thought to myself, "This reference is terrible." It's shaped poorly. It's set up in this perfectly balanced triangle despite the climax and falling action always being the smallest parts and the rising action being the longest. These were a headache to fill in. So much happens in the first half that there's usually no space and teachers wouldn't necessarily explain what a climax was very well. I don't know what this thread was about....oh yeah, do you think this is a good way to break down a story?
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Ami-Scythe



Seems very lazy to rise, climax, then fall asleep.

No, I never liked the whole "this is the structure" idea. It's like telling everybody to strive to paint like da Vinci, because his resolution is practical. Look what happened when Tarantino played with the structure idea, they loved him for it. Nah, I think you should find your own way of telling your story, that way it truly becomes unique.



Ami-Scythe's Avatar
A bucket of anxiety
Seems very lazy to rise, climax, then fall asleep.

No, I never liked the whole "this is the structure" idea. It's like telling everybody to strive to paint like da Vinci, because his resolution is practical. Look what happened when Tarantino played with the structure idea, they loved him for it. Nah, I think you should find your own way of telling your story, that way it truly becomes unique.
I mean, in my opinion, you do have to start with the basics before weaving in the details but this is just too simplistic. I don't think it says anything about anything.



Welcome to the human race...
I'll agree the diagram is on the simple side, there's usually other points (act breaks, mid-point, etc) that you have to account for - and the peak representing the climax should be closer to the conclusion if it's going to accurately reflect the pacing of your typical story.

I question how much Tarantino really played with structure underneath his superficially anachronic approach to storytelling - to this end, I think you could break down all his films along the lines of the conventional three-act structure.
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