I’m going to move on to the second act discussion soon, but first I want to talk a little about what is going on in the progress of my personal story. I’ve been pondering my third act, which I have a pretty firm overall concept for, and rooting for details concerning the plot and characters at this point in the script. There is a reveal, but the inevitable question one faces at this stage is “who knows what about whom?”
The question applies to the characters within the script as well as the audience. Big third act reveals can be really lame if you try to keep secret what the audience has already figured out (*cough-Prometheus*). Conversely a surprise reveal that seems ad-hoc is subject to dissatisfaction to say the least.
You don’t need a full outline to figure this out for your script. Although the temptation may be to go back to the beginning and build the story chronologically, the truth is that it will be no less simple and your tracks may lead off to uncharted territory. If you want to boldly go, that’s a worthy experiment, but it’s likely to take you away from what turned you onto this project to begin with. I’m proposing that we stay disciplined and concentrate further on our third act and make those choices concerning our characters now, so we can build to them later.
In your characters eyes, it’s a question of destiny verses fate. You know how this will end. It is their destiny, but if you lose your view and come to their level, they will take control of their own destiny with unpredictable results.
In my case there are four main parties involved. two are good one is the big bad and the fourth’s involvement is what is in question. I’ve volleyed various visions (Sorry, I had to) in my head and fought the urge to start at the beginning and avoid this important decision. While I resolved this one issue it only opened up more questions. At first it felt as though I was getting nowhere, but I suddenly realized that these questions pertained not to my ending, but to the second act. By determining a vital aspect of the character’s future, their past has begun to build itself.
The four parties involved were always part of the plan, but while I worked on the one issue I came to a conclusion about another one of the four that is also going to help as I shape the second act. At first he was not well-considered, but with more thought about his place in the matter, he’s become a much more important role than I initially imagined. His role will be developed throughout the second act as well.
Lots of questions about your second act before you delve into it is very good. They are going to be useful markers along with other crucial plot points that need to be implemented. The better you flesh out the end of your story, the more you will have to work with in building toward that end goal.