Film Courage: Do you think there’s a story structure that professionals use?
Andrew Horng: I think it’s different for everybody. I don’t think there is one story structure that fits everything. A lot of people talk about three-act structure, I kind of dog on it a little bit because I think it really over-simplifies everything. There are some books (that I won’t name) that say that you need to have this happen on this page and it’s very strict.
I think that just as long as you have a main character that you for some reason really care about and there is conflict present and that conflict escalates and keeps on escalating and you’re still engaged as an audience member, that’s what the professional writers use.
But in terms of one structure, I don’t really believe that there is one out there.
Film Courage: Well I know in just watching BACK TO THE FUTURE and doing the script analysis with you, different beats didn’t seem like they were being met exactly when some of these story structure experts say they should but it still works. So I was just wondering what your thoughts are?
Andrew Horng: Yeah, whatever really helps you as a writer. I mean I know BACK TO THE FUTURE it does fit into the three-act structure, but I would just warn against some people…like some writers think it’s like screenwriting religion. And I would just say that there are plenty of films that don’t fit three-act structure.
Question for the Viewers: Do you agree?
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