Screenwriting Tricks for Authors

Writing Act III of a book or script: The New Plan

Here, very simply, are the broad strokes of Act III of a book or script:

At the end of Act II: Part 2 (about p. 300 in a 400-page book, about 90 minutes in to a 2 hour movie) everything crashes in an All is Lost Moment, or Black Moment, or Visit to Death.

And then, out of that complete despair comes a Revelation, Clue or Twist for the Hero/ine

That leads to a New Plan for the Final Battle.

The Hero/ine makes that last New Plan

Possibly Gathers the Team (Allies) again and briefs them on the Plan

Possibly briefly Trains again

Then Storms the Villain’s or Antagonist’s Castle (or basement).

The Team (if there is one) goes into Battle, attacking the Antagonist and Secondary Antagonists (Minions, Crew, Henchmen) on their own turf, and —

  • All their Skills are Tested
  • Subplots are Resolved
  • and Secondary Antagonists are defeated in a satisfying way.

Then the Hero/ine goes in alone for the Final Battle with the Antagonist, and in some way faces their Greatest Nightmare. Their Character Arc, everything they’ve learned in the story, helps them win it. (Or not, if it’s a tragedy).

The Hero/ine has come Full Circle

And we see the New Way of Life that they will live.

— — — — —

In the next posts we’re going to work through these elements step by step. And that means before anything else, make sure you really understand the double punch of Dark Night into Dawn that creates the Climax of your Act II. Review here:

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