ACT 1: The Set-up
Introduce protagonist, hook the reader, and setup First Plot Point (foreshadowing, establishing stakes); major goal is establishing empathy (not necessarily likability) for the protagonist.
|Beat 1||The situation||A nice city park on a cloudy day. Protagonist is sitting on a bench reading in a park, very calm and beautiful scene, wide shot. She looks at her watch, closes her book, and stands up.|
|Beat 2||The set-up||Walking down the park path, a 14–15-year-old girl notices a shiny, beautiful necklace left on the ground.|
|Beat 3||Inciting-incident||The necklace twitches a bit, and the girl gets a little startled. However, she shrugs it off and still picks it up.|
|Beat 4||First plot-point||She shoves the necklace in her pocket, and heads back to her house.|
ACT 2: The Response
The protagonist’s reaction to the new goal/stakes/obstacles revealed by the First Plot Point; the protagonist doesn’t need to be heroic yet (retreats/regroups/doomed attempts/reminders of antagonistic forces at work). Our protagonist often suffers from “one step forward and two steps back”.
|Beat 5||First Pinch Point||After entering her house, the girl takes off her jacket and walks over towards the mirror. She takes the necklace out from her pocket and tries it on in front of the mirror, admiring it in the reflection.|
|Beat 6||Mid-Point||The girl goes on with her life, grabbing her computer and coffee and sits down at her dinner table. She doesn’t have a clue that things are beginning to escalate.|
|Beat 7||Second Pinch Point||The necklace visibly tightens on her neck. She feels it on her neck and instinctively scratches it, not paying much mind. Suddenly, the necklace tightens a lot to make her gasp for air.|
|Beat 8||All is lost||She runs back in front of her mirror to try and take it off. Her efforts of struggling to release the necklace failed and her knees collapses and hits the ground while she holds her neck with both hands.|
ACT 3: The Resolution
The protagonist summons the courage to overcome inner obstacles and to try to conquer the antagonistic force. There is a final injection of new information into the story. The protagonist’s quest is accelerated.
|Beat 9||Climax||The girl suddenly gets an idea, she forcefully yanks out the drawer under the mirror and takes out a pair of tweezers. She quickly cuts the necklace loose from her neck and lets out a sigh of relief.|
|Beat 10||Finale||Screen cuts to her awaking from her bed, making the previous events seem like a nightmare. The audience will see that the necklace is still on her as she makes a horrible sound.
The screen blacks out (assuming that she is dying from suffocation.)