The Plotting Workshop: Scenes for Act III


The first act and both parts of the second act of your plot board are all filled out. Don’t those sticky notes with your ideas written on them look gorgeous? A filled in plot board is seriously one of my favorite things in the world.

We’re almost done now. Just Act III to fill in.

Act III is shorter than Act II. It has a fast pace. You’ve done all your world building, developed all your characters–Act III is pure story. When you get to the point of writing this part of your book, it’s the most fun because you can see the end and the story just races toward it.

Let’s see how your race goes.


Plot Board, Act III

Act III encompasses two sequences: seven and eight. It has two climactic scenes, with the big one being the third act twist around the end of sequence seven. Go ahead and fill that one in.

Now, go back over your notes and read The Road Back, Ressurection, and Return with the Elixir. Everything you need to round out your story is in there.

You’re going to have scenes of your main character coping with the main climax–which was probably a very dark moment. Your character will rededicate themself to his quest. They’ll have a moment when they realize what they’ve gained. And another when they share it in some way.

The eighth sequence will have some scenes of resolution, tying up the ends of your story. If you’ll have an epilogue, the notes for that are probably your climactic scene for the final sequence.

Act III should have 15 to 20 scenes. Make sure that you’re resolving all of the major story points. If you had love scenes in Acts I and II, you need to make sure you satisfy your reader with regard to that relationship in Act III. If the antagonist had a subplot happening, don’t leave it hanging.

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