I'm Lost somewhere in the 2nd Act...
Okay, so I breezed through my first act! But now I’m halfway through the 2ndact and I feel like I got lost somewhere. What happened?
I’m laughing just a tiny bit because this so reminds me of myself when I first started out writing. I just could not wait to jump on an idea!
Often what happens, after blasting through the first act on a full head of steam is that you run out of gas - and ideas somewhere in the 2ndact. I would suggest two things might have happened: 1) you didn’t outline your story progression through the 3 acts.
2) You haven’t escalated your story complications.
The first act is all about setting up the world and the characters and their ensuing storylines. Let’s go back to MONSTERS INC and the blistering pace it sets creating both the zany world of Monstropolous and the nearly dozen storylines (big and small) that we follow to the conclusion in this film.
The second act in any screenplay is all about complications. In Monsters Inc it’s all about the complication of Sully having allowed a human child into his world. And then further complicated by the fact that he begins to like her. Which is further complicated by the fact that his archrival, Randal is Boo’s (the human child) scare monster and Sully now feels that he wants to protect Boo. Which is then complicated by the fact that Randal has hatched an evil plot, which involves kidnapping Boo.
Do you see what I mean, about complications? That IS your second act…. But they have to be well thought out, continually escalating in importance or peril to our hero or her significant others in the story. And then, they have to all pay off in the third act!
ALL of them, or the ending is not completely satisfying to your audience.
So I suggest you go back to your drawing board and outline the stories you set up in Act One. And then, outline the potential complications those storylines will encounter in Act Two and then how they might pay off in Act Three.
I hope that helps! And I wish you good luck with your writing!