Here’s the word for the day…
Tear through your pages with a machete.
Anything that looks like stoppage – surmount it. Any double – cut it out.
You need to go, go, go here, through major actions with major results.
And yet, this is getting tough. Are you tired? Do you want to see this done? That’s how your hero feels. He’s had it with all this uphill battle. When does the dream come true?
It’s when he goes through these phases:
Commitment (page 60).
The stakes go up (pages 60-70), and he breaks through every obstacle using the new skills he’s learned from the first half of Act II (pages 30-60).
He lets go (approximately page 72). He can give up because the obstacles are too much and too many, or he can let go when he chooses – before it does him damage. But he must let go. And that’s because in the letting go he changes.
Let’s use Rocky as an example (even though this is not what occurs on Rocky’s page 75). Rocky realizes his challenge is bigger than he is. He realizes he’s not going to win the fight. He takes two major actions. First he gives up that goal, and then he changes his goal! He was going to try to win the fight; now he’s going to go the distance.
His goal was the championship, but winning now means going the distance, and he does. He stopped to have the realization that his goal wasn’t going to happen and in that moment he changed his goal and learned that to win means to go the distance.
Find where you let your character give up. Then find the moment where he learns what he needs to solve the central question.
If you can’t find it, let it go for the time begin.
It will come to you.
AND THEN HE REALIZES
In every story by a first-time screenwriter, he or she always uses the word “realizes.” “And then he realizes” comes about page 75 in the story. It’s your job to give us the specific of how he realizes and what he realizes.
Rocky realizes he’s not going to win because he sees the enormity of what he’s up against with Apollo and then he sees himself in comparison. When he accepts the fact that he’s a loser, he wins.
When we finally learn what we put ourselves through this for… our goal comes to us.
Go now – see something differently today. Write for eight minutes:
What I have learned about the story from writing this script is… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now underline anything that jumps out at you.
What you underline is also the essence of what your character realizes.
Clarify what scene now.
This is a day to break through.
©Andrea Nicola Dodgson, 1971.