Using Screenwriting Techniques to Create Content
So we're gonna talk a little bit about the 3-Act Structure and how that works in content specifically. So act one typically in a movie, would be the set-up, so it's like your introduced to the world. We know what happened, there's usually some, what we call inciting incident. Which is something that went down that sparks off the story, what happened, why are we starting the story at this moment. And then act two is usually the confrontation, so there's lots of conflict there, and then act three is the climax of the story, and then the reveal. So we're gonna go through this a little bit more in-depth and how that works in a content sense. Okay, so, just a couple of examples I'll walk you through. Because this is a live class I didn't wanna put a whole long piece of article or content here and read it out loud cause you guys would fall asleep. So we're just gonna talk about the concept of these, more of an outline of what I might do if I'm writing a piece of content. So this was an artic...
le that I did as a piece of content that ended up being really popular for me, was learning versus doing. So it was the concept of, people learning too much, myself included, and not actually taking action and doing anything, so the scales were tipped as maybe 80% of your time is spent learning and only 20% is spent doing, where it should be the opposite 20% should be learning, 80% doing. So lots of times we get comfy in the learning, and then never take any actions. So it would be like you guys leave this whole writing week and you don't do one thing, you don't write anything, that would be 100% learning, and 0% doing. So that's a concept that comes up a lot with my clients. I see it constantly where people would say, I worked with seven coaches or I took 27 programs or classes and nothing works for me, and so then me, cause I'm a big meanie, I look and I actually look at what they've done, like I look at, okay so what's the action, I don't care about the learning that you've done, let's look at the action, and then we really look and we get really deep, and figure out what the action is, most of the time it's very very little. It might look like I spent all day watching a class and then I never did a piece of it. Or I took a class on social media and all I did was scroll social media and look at everybody else's stuff. But I never actually posted anything and now it's been three months. So that comes up quite a lot, so I did this article. And the way that I set it up, instead of, and I could've done it that way, where I spoke to my clients about a concern that they've had, or maybe I would say a question that I get a lot or people don't realize that they're doing this, but a more interesting set-up I thought was to set-up the article with a business mastermind that I joined years ago. So I had a specific situation where I was learning more than doing, and I thought well this might be a stronger set-up for this article. Because now I can just show them, I've been in your shoes. And I'm not this big mean business coach that's like you're learning and not doing. And then sometimes it feels like I'm too preachy on them. I don't wanna come off that way. So instead I'm like let me turn the spotlight on me, and how I messed up, and then that will then serve as an example for them. So then the confrontation was what happened in that mastermind, so it was a hard lesson of learning but never doing, so like we said, I was constantly learning but we would go on these awesome retreats and have calls and then I'd never implement any of the stuff. And so during the time I'm like this isn't working nothing's working but it was me that wasn't working at the end of the day. (laughing) It wasn't the group. And then the climax was an action step for my audience. So in this particular piece of content, and it varies and we'll go to action steps a little bit later in this class, but, the action step for this I chose just to do a simple quote so I didn't ask them to buy anything from me I didn't ask them to share it, I didn't ask them to comment, like, tweet, write me back, anything. I just thought that for this, I could give them a guiding principle or quote, that when they're going through this situation they could look at this and be like oh yeah that's how I wanna live. So my quote was less consuming more creating. So that way was a simple thing that they could take away and just remember this next time you're in this situation. And that's what I used for this piece of content. Alright, so here's another technique that you guys can use. Is serialized content. We went into this a little bit about the photography. How you can kind of you would start out with the one big story, this frustrates me, when everybody looks like a creepy family cult in a picture. And then you can serialize that by having a part two and a part three which might be better ways to do these photos or to show up for these photos. So this is basically a binge-worthy cluster of content with cliffhangers after each segment. So if you have a story or something that you wanna share, a piece of content that you wanna share, and you feel like it would be better broken up, and honestly sometimes this is just intuitive, it doesn't have, I can't tell you no if it's over this word count you must break it up, cause we said earlier, the word count isn't really a consideration here, this is just more intuitive. Does it make more sense? Would the point land better if you just kept this one piece of content with this point, and then you split it up into other pieces of content? Instead of one big piece with three points, right? Sometimes we have that, we write a big article, and it's a great article, but then you just want to make sure that it lands with your audience. And if it's a lot of information, I don't even necessarily mean length, just that it's a lot to take in, sometimes it does make sense to chop it up, and then give little cliffhangers after each segment. Alright, and one thing that I did, I'll give you a quickie example on that last one. At one point I shared my business story, that was a really long story, so I felt that there were too many twists and turns and milestones in my business, that it didn't make sense to share it all at once. I could've and I think I wrote it in an interesting enough manner that people would've stuck with me. Or I perhaps could've changed the format from written to video or audio, where podcast people are used to listening for an hour, so I perhaps could've done that. But at the end of the day I wanted each of the points to land, these very clear six segments of my life, or my business journey, I wanted them to get something out of it. So I didn't want them to just rush through it and then look for the end, right, cause when you're reading a story, it's what's gonna happen in the end, so I didn't want that vibe. So I did that and then I would leave it on a cliffhanger. Where I'd give them a little taste of next week, this will happen, or you'll learn about this. If you're using it for the photography thing for example, you're talking about why the creepy photos are terrible, where everybody's dressed alike, and then you might say stay tuned for next week for a better way. Alright so again, they know what's coming, and it gets them to be like, cool, I don't wanna do that with my family so I'm excited to learn what would be a better way, so that's a simple way that you can incorporate serialized content. So commercial breaks is another, kind of fun screenwriting technique. You can challenge beliefs, share a story, spark curiosity, then include the cliffhanger moment, and not make them wait for your perspective or for the rest of the story. So pacing is key for engagement. So one of these, this comes up a lot, because sometimes I'll see stories or a piece of content, that just quickly makes the point. Sometimes that's okay. If you're doing social media content sometimes it makes sense you might have one point that you end up using it as a quote and you pop it on but other times if you're writing let's say a blog post or a news letter, longer article, then you don't wanna just make your point so quick that it makes the whole thing kinda lame. You wanna set it up like I did in the first technique. Where I was sharing a story, I'm in a mastermind, then mastermind starts to go wrong, and then I'm telling them the final result of that. If I had just wrote something and said hey guys, less consuming more creating, that doesn't land as well. They're like, okay, and maybe some people would be like oh yeah that's kind of a cool quote. But it doesn't have the same punch and impact, as when I start with my story and then I'm leading them through. And it has that commercial break feel because it's broken up right into those three acts. Where it feels like you got the intro, now you're seeing the conflict of how I'm screwing up the mastermind, and now here is the ending, the final battle, and then ending moment, and what I took away from that. So you can think of those three acts as commercial breaks in between that's how TV rolls. And pacing just thinking about pacing for landing your final point.