The last meeting of my SVA Feature writing class met on Monday, and we had a party and read pages. I am very proud for them! They did amazing work! Bravo, Class!
My next open class is at NYU and begins on September 25th. It’s filling up fast!
I worked with several private students this week, both on screenplays and TV scripts. The writing theme of the week was how to structure Act 2.
In my writing system, we break the second act into two halves because each part has its own dramatic function. Until that is clearly understood, writing the second act will be unsatisfying both to reader and author. The main character must go on some kind of journey in the second part of Act 2 in order to gain the skills and insight to complete the goal set up in Act 1.
An example of this can be found in the film, The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy reaches Oz and sees the Wizard, only to be met with the demand to get the Witch’s Broom. This causes Dorothy to face her worst fear. When she overcomes the Witch, and saves Toto, she now has the confidence needed to get herself back to Kansas.
There’s more to this concept, and you might want to explore movies that have great Act 2, Part 2’s such as The Godfather, Casablanca, When Harry Met Sallyand Dodgeball. In my book, The 4 Magic Questions of Screenwriting, there is a simple method for getting your story structure right every time.
There are 60 plus breakdowns of movies in the 4-part structure available on my website if you want to explore.