The Second Act Doldrums
While I have not made the half hour of progress per day as I planned in December, I am still hard at work on the new screenplay. This one I have faith in, it’s the first action movie I’ve written and already I see franchise potential. OK, that’s going too far, but at least I am past page sixty and not giving up. My problem is that while I’m into the second act I don’t really know where to go next. I have a great introduction, and even a wonderful ending in the bank, but this part is a stumbling block. My characters are out on the road, they’re running away from the bad guys and they’re going…somewhere.
My solution is to spend some more time this week outlining. I have a two page guide but have since abandoned it. As my story-world has become more complicated, the guide has filled with notes and become too messy to understand. Anyway, I have new goals for the screenplay.
For the second act, I want my characters to get to a specific place, but I don’t want them to make it there too fast. I want that climactic final scene to feel earned. I want to reveal certain mysteries embedded in the story, but I don’t want those to feel too obvious, either. And I want the audience to get to know the characters well enough that they’ll want to follow them into the third act. I have a lot to work through.
I’m open to suggestions. Those who have waded through the second act doldrums, help! What works best? What should I do next?