15 January 2014

Where Exactly Does the End Begin in a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay?

I've read Blockbuster Plots about five times and seen all your wonderful Youtube vids (thanks!). But it seems like the line initiating the third acts changes a lot. On Pinterest, you have it coming just after the low point after the crisis. Others with examples on the same page put it before. And in your book, it comes even later, right before the climax.

Can you clarify about the right time for a third act to appear? Thanks!
Every Plot Planner you refer to shows the End beginning in different places because different artists created the different Plot Planners for me. In my webinars, the line initiating the End is different than all the others.

Another reason why the line is different on all the Plot Planners is because the End is determined by the story itself.

In high action stories and lots of screenplays, the distance between the crisis and the climax in scene and page count is much shorter than say literary fiction and some genres.

Thresholds Hold Tension
By slowing the action and drama after the crisis, when the energy rises to announce the final quarter, the story moves quickly and with maximum impact to the end.

The protagonist estimates what is necessary for ultimate success in achieving her goal. She gathers the attributes, things, and people to take forward with her on the final journey to the end. She leaves behind everything that does not serve the highest good.

The final quarter of the story shows the protagonist taking action without hesitation. The character may have thought about the actions she intends to take to accomplish her goal and even voiced them, but until she acts her words are meaningless.

The moment she moves toward her long-term goal, the final one-quarter of the story begins. The dramatic action is designed to get the protagonist to the right place at the right time to seize back her personal power from the antagonist that best represents the thematic significance of the entire story.

In The Lace Reader, Calvin represents all that the protagonist has lost. To break free of the hell in which her fear has held her for fifteen years, she must face him, face her greatest fear.
**Excerpt from The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master named BEST BOOKS FOR WRITERS by Poets and Writers

If you'd like more, join me at an upcoming online video-chat plot workshop a writers conference, picture book workshop , middle grade and young adult intensive , and writer's plot and scene retreat and read my plot books.