HOW TO WRITE ACT 3
RESOLVE! So here it is…our final Act. Act 3. This is where we deliver. If Santa doesn’t show up carrying the presents that we’ve all been waiting for, then we will be utterly disappointed.
Act 3 takes our characters’ motivations and we show the terminal end of them. Either the goal is accomplished, or it’s not accomplished. But somehow, we have to make sure that we resolve the conflict that we’ve been building up until this point.
Remember from the post Act 1 what the motivation of our characters should be.
1. We want Adam to slay the dragon.
2. We want Braley to forgive her parents’ abandonment of her.
3. We want Cayla to overcome her indecision.
4. We want Daniel to become the rightful heir.
We’ve already said that Adam can’t slay the dragon unless he kills the one he loves most, who is Braley in our story. So what can Adam do to resolve his thread?
1. Adam has the Sword of the Seven Rivers which cannot be activated unless he kills the one he most loves. So what do we do? Do we have Adam kill Braley? We could. That’s a tough route to go. But what if we go the self-sacrificing route? Perhaps Braley knows that Adam can’t kill her, so she chooses to slay herself with the sword.
This wins sympathy with the reader, because you’ve built Braley up as a character who can’t die, but here she is sacrificing herself. You must be careful though, because the reader will wonder how the sword recognizes her death. The sword could perhaps be connected to its wielder. Just a thought.
2. Braley’s parents are captured, and she could let them die or she could rescue them. But rescuing them would mean that she would have to get over her bitterness towards them. We should have her rescue her parents, but…for the sake of drama, let’s say that when she finds them, they’re near the brink of death. And she has to watch them die, even though she no longer holds a grudge against them.
3. Cayla must overcome her indecision if she wants to rescue Adam. So she should certainly rescue him, but for the drama, let’s connect this rescue with the mistake that she made with her sister . Maybe her sister found a way to escape her captors, her sister finds Cayla, and then helps Cayla to overcome.
4. For Daniel to become the rightful heir, he can’t kill the king, or the people will not accept it. But maybe there’s a kingship relic that only royal blood can activate. Have the tension of Daniel getting to this relic throughout the novel, and in the end, you have Daniel shame the king by activating the relic in front of the masses.
Last thing to remember. Adam has to slay the dragon!
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