Wednesday, November 30, 2016

NANOWRIMO: Act III Questions and Prompts

by Alexandra Sokoloff

Yes, we're into Act III, now.  Or maybe you're not that far yet, which is all perfectly fine. Personally, I know my endgame, but I needed to stop and go back over some earlier things before I push through to the end.  I'm still well over 50,000 words. Just remember, as long as you're writing, it's all good. The book will be done when it's done.

But if you are into Act III, here are the prompts for that last act.

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- Alex


ELEMENTS OF ACT THREE

The third act is basically the Final Battle and Resolution. It can often be one continuous sequence —the chase and confrontation, or confrontation and chase. There may be a final preparation for battle, or it might be done on the fly. Either here or in the last part of the second act the hero will make a new, FINAL PLAN, based on the new information and revelations of the second act.

The essence of a third act is the final showdown between protagonist and antagonist. It is often divided into two sequences:

1. Getting there (Storming the Castle): Sequence 7.
2. The final battle itself: Sequence 8.

• In addition to the FINAL PLAN, there may be another GATHERING OF THE TEAM scene and a brief TRAINING SEQUENCE.

• There may well be DEFEATS OF SECONDARY OPPONENTS

Each one of the secondary opponents should be given a satisfying end or comeuppance. (This may also happen earlier, in Act II:2.)

• THEMATIC LOCATION

This is often a visual and literal representation of the Hero/ine’s Greatest Nightmare.

We see:

• THE PROTAGONIST’S CHARACTER CHANGE

• THE ANTAGONIST’S CHARACTER CHANGE (if any)

• Possibly ALLY/ALLIES’ CHARACTER CHANGE and/or GAINING OF DESIRE(s)

• Possibly a huge FINAL REVERSAL OR REVEAL (twist), or even a whole series of PAYOFFS that you’ve been saving (as in Back to the Future and It’s a Wonderful Life)

• RESOLUTION: A glimpse into the NEW WAY OF LIFE that the hero/ine will be living after this whole ordeal and all s/he’s learned from it

• Possibly a sense of coming FULL CIRCLE

            Returning to the opening image or scene, and is a great way to show how much things have changed, or how the hero/ine has changed inside, which makes her or him deal with the same place and situation in a whole different way.

• CLOSING IMAGE



What do you want to leave your reader or audience with in the end?


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