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First Draft: Roll the Dice With This Guide to Action-Adventure Script Structure Based on Dungeons & Dragons

First Draft: Roll the Dice With This Guide to Action-Adventure Script Structure Based on Dungeons & Dragons

First Draft

Room Three: Trick or Setback

The purpose of this room is to build tension. Do this using a trick, trap, or setback. For example, after defeating a tough monster, and players think they’ve finally found the treasure and achieved their goal, they learn they’ve been tricked and the room is a false crypt.

You’re into the second act. Just as your characters have tackled their first big setback or challenge, thinking that they’ve succeeded, it’s time to throw more conflict at them. And as most second acts in spec scripts are lacking in stakes, you need to be sure to truly throw as much as you can at the hero in this stage of the story. Otherwise, who cares? This is the meat of the action and adventure. This is where you re-engage the audience.

Back to Indiana Jones and company, they’ve found the Ark at the end of Room Two. They’ve succeeded. But, this is where the trick, trap, and setback happens. Belloq has found them. He takes the Ark and throws Marion into the Well of Souls, sealing them in their now inevitable tomb. This is a major setback to say the least.

Now they are forced to defeat all odds against their survival, and they do so using their wits and a little leg work as Indiana finds a way to break through the walls.

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