1. A debate scene that starts in Act I and doesn’t end until The End.
In Act I, Blake suggests that the main character question a decision. This debate goes on until the Act I climax where he/she makes the decision and reaches the point of no return. The debate is over. Or maybe not.
After seeing the floating lights and then meeting Flinn, Rapunzel has to decide whether to trust him and whether or not she should leave the tower. Small moments build up to her decision. But when Mother Gothal shuts Rapunzel down and tells her she will never leave, Rapunzel reaches that point.
She lies about Flinn. She decides to trust Flinn or at least make a deal with him. And she decides to leave the tower.
But the screenwriters didn’t leave it at that. They continued the debate. From the slight pause before Rapunzel is willing to touch her feet to the grass to the hesitation before using her hair to save their lives. And then at the end, the debate returns in full force when Rapunzel believes Flinn has abandoned her.
- Does your debate continue through out the entire story?
- How can you show moments of doubt before your character makes a major decision?
- And can you show why he/she overcomes those doubts and makes the decision?
2. Following through with the Promise of the Premise.
That’s what our friend Blake refers to as Fun and Games during the first part of Act II. It’s why people want to read your book. What kind of story will your title, cover, and blurb convey? If you were to have a movie poster of your story – what would be on it? That’s what you want to give your readers. Or they’ll end up disappointed.
Looking at the poster for TANGLED with Flinn holding a fry pan and Rapunzel standing in front of him wielding her hair, I expected a fun story with great action and some great hair tricks.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
- Do you follow through with the promise of your premise?
- Look at the first half of your Act II to find out. (Though Rapunzel wielded her hair like a lasso through out the entire movie!)
3. A smart antagonist (Bad Guys Close in – second half of Act II)
Readers don’t respect a stupid villain. Which means their respect for the protagonist drops too when he/she overcomes the stupid villain. As a reader, I crave the smart, well-rounded villain. I love when I understand the villain’s perspective and could even see the story from his/her pov. Now, I’m not going to say that I could understand Mother Gothal’s pov. She was selfish and wanted to stay young and beautiful. I’m not saying she couldn’t have been more three-dimensional.
But I loved her tactics.
She played with Rapunzel’s mind. Mother Gothal could have just captured Rapunzel and brought her back to the tower. But no. She wanted Rapunzel to come back on her own, willingly. So she challenged Rapunzel, stating Flinn would leave her once he had the stolen crown back in his thieving paws. Then Mother Gothal went one step further and made sure that happened or that Rapunzel believed it to happen. And Rapunzel went willingingly.
- How does your villain stop your protagonist?
- What does he/she do behind the scenes?
Check out Stina’s blog for her breakdown of TANGLED Part Two!