Greetings from No Man’s Land!

Lost? Of course not. Just recalculating my position.
Lost? Of course not. Just recalculating my position.

It took some doing, but I finally managed to get to the midpoint of the rewrite of the monster spec outline.

As is required for this particular plot point, my hero is now firmly committed to achieving his goal, plus not one, but two new conflicts thrown into the mix to make it that much harder for him.

There’s still a little setup-payoff work that needs to be applied to some earlier scenes, but I really like how it’s coming along.

But for now, my attention shifts forward – further into the vast wasteland that is the rest of Act Two.

To some, a staggering task of herculean proportions.  For me – not too much.

Well, maybe a little.

Act Two can be incredibly intimidating. Your script can have a killer opening and fantastic ending, but if what happens between them isn’t as good, if not better, than you’re in trouble.

What takes place in those 50-60 pages can really make or break your story. A reader or audience wants to see things happen as the characters grow (or at least change).

With such a vast canvas to work with, you might lose track of a lot of elements – supporting characters, subplots, etc. I remember reading a script that introduced what I thought was going to be an interesting subplot, but after that initial appearance, it never showed up again. It’s possible the writer just forgot about it, or maybe didn’t know how to develop it.

Take your time to plan things out. Yes, we all want to get done faster, but in this case, that’s the worst thing you could do.

Let’s assume you’ve got your plot points in place, so now it’s a matter of connecting them.  What has to happen in each scene to move things ahead to the next one?

Remember: each scene, no matter how big or small, should advance the plot, theme and character, as well as contain some kind of conflict.

It’s easy to get lost in all the details. Maybe there’s too much focus on this part, and not enough on that one. Again, take your time to figure it out.  Besides, you’ll be able to make the necessary fixes in the next batch of rewrites.

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers right now, but there are lot of details you’re going to need to fill in as you move forward. And always keep asking “Is this the best way to have this happen?”

The journey through Act Two can definitely be a challenge, but it can be a little less daunting if you go into it prepared and knowing where you want to go.

3 thoughts on “Greetings from No Man’s Land!

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