Friday, December 31, 2010

Act 2

Again from Pigeon Impossible

Strategy 2: Fun and Games vs. Enemy Regroups. These are terms used by Blake Snyder in his Save The Cat books. (Awesome and highly recommended.) If we’ve broken down act 2 into two parts, Act 2A is the Fun and Games section. This is where we get to have fun with the premise of the movie. So, since the premise of PI is a pigeon wreaking havoc with a high tech briefcase, Act 2A is where that havoc is wreaked. However, the midpoint represents not just a turning point in the plot, but also a tonal shift. The stakes are raised and things suddenly get more serious. This leads us into Act 2B which Snyder calls “The Enemy Regroups” In PI, Walter has just put a halt to the pigeon’s destructive flight by threatening the bagel. He tries to get the pigeon out of the briefcase, but each attempt ends in things just getting worse. Hopefully since PI is a comedy, this section is still funny, but its definitely a very different tone than the unrestrained silliness of Act 2A.

hadn't heard that approach before, now I need to track down the save the cat book to see.

and from Jim Butcher (who's blog is apparently a small collection of essays on writing, he boils scenes into an easy formula for one)

"Here's the nutshell concept: Plan a great big freaking event for the end of the middle. You want it to be a big dramatic confrontation of whatever kind is appropriate to your genre. The fallout from your big bad Big Middle event should be what boots the book down the homestretch to reach the story's climax. Really lay out the fireworks. Hit the reader with everything you can. PLAN THE BIG MIDDLE EVENT. Then, as you work through the middle, WORK TO BUILD UP TO IT. Drop in the little hints, establish the proper props and motivations and such. Make sure that everything you do in the middle of the book is helping you build up to the BIG MIDDLE.

the formula for scenes: POV. Goal. Conflict. Setback
and the formula for the follow up scene (he calls sequel) to get you to the next plot point scene: Emotion. Reason. Anticipation. Choice

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