Writing Action


“Rising and falling action” is a literal, not a metaphorical, description of strong dramatic structure. Here’s the way we showed it in Writing Treatments That Sell.

1. First, make a list of the primary scenes (shown here as page numbers in a screenplay) in your story.

2. Then draw a line ending with an à to rate the intensity of each scene on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being least intense, and 5 being most intense.

3. Then connect the arrowheads.

4. Turn the graph on its side—and you will see what we call the “Rollercoaster graph” that shows the “rising and falling action” of your story.

If the graph doesn’t resemble an exciting roller coaster, replace and reshuffle scenes until it does!

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