The Second Turning-
So, you are basically telling a new story as you start your Third Act. The setting probably changed (or got a lot more dangerous). The threat is now immediate, instead of just a cloud overhanging everything, it’s actually in your protagonist’s face.
And, your protagonist should be devastated. Things just got a hell of a lot worse for him right now. The quest required Herculean efforts before, but now what??? What on Earth could he possibly do to right this sinking ship? There’s probably a ticking-
You could, of course, put your Pit of Despair here. But your protagonist might not have time to brood, as the danger is much more immediate now and any dawdling could end in disaster. There’s not much time for long, brooding scenes either. Your Third Act should only be a little bit longer than your First Act. That doesn’t leave you a lot of pages to get everything done. 25 pages can go really fast. Especially when you have to write endings for all your sub-
In most sports movies, the 3rd Act is the big tournament, or the big fight, or in the case of Breaking Away (1979) it comes in the form of the big intramural bicycle race. For Act 3, the setting now moves to the college stadium and our attention is now focused on the bike race.
When I’m talking about big confrontations and action sequences -
The Third Act is just a stupid bike race! Those aren’t very high stakes. But, of course, for the characters they actually are big stakes. They’ve felt pushed-
The big action scenes are just peddling bikes around a track! That doesn’t sound like big action. But, it is. For the characters. No guns or explosions needed, yet still exciting and action-
Heck, the final battle is just taping his feet to the pedals and sprinting for the photo-
Any story can have high-
When you start your Third Act, your protagonist should be down and there should be almost no hope for him. He’ll need to look at the problem in a new way, if he ever hopes to achieve victory. He’ll need to come at this from another direction. He’ll need to think ‘outside the box.’
If he doesn’t, he can’t even hope of winning.
There are a bunch of things you’ll need to know before you start writing Act 3:
Your Third Act should be roughly 20 to 30 pages long (in a normal 100 page script).
Most importantly, writers tend to be burnt-
The Third Act is the final act in your screenplay. It’s where everything gets decided. Where everything is finally resolved once and for all.
The First Act shows the original status quo -
|No Writing Yet|
|The First Act|
|The Inciting Incident|
|The Supporting Cast|
|The First Turning-Point|
|The Second Act|
|The Love Story|
|Screenplay Page Counts|
|Everything is Looking Good!...|
|False-Victory or False-Defeat|
|The Pit of Despair|
|The Second Turning Point|
|The Third Act|
|All Is Not Lost|
|Wind It All Up|
|Wrapping Up Your Sub-Plots|
|The Final Battle|
|Actually Writing Your Script|
|Back to the Future|
|Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|
|T2 - Terminator 2|