The following is taken from a lecture by Elana Johnson, who in turn used information from Blake Snyder's Save the Cat.

Okay, Act 3 isn't  very big, but it is very important. Let's take a look at  it:


-  Act 3 consists of only 2 more beats: the "Finale" and  the "Closing Image."

What happens is that the hero figures out what to do and has a final showdown. After that it's the closing image, which is simply the  resolution following the showdown.

The final image is  important, however, since it has to clearly demonstrate how different the Main Character is compared to how we saw him on page 1.

BEAT 14 - FINALE    (pp. 255-330)
The Finale actually consists of 5 very important points:

1. Gathering the Team
The allies, or friends  of the Main Character have to come back together. They may not be on speaking  terms because reconciliation is a painful process, but they're back because  ultimately loyalty rises to the top. Either way, they have to find a way to work together.

2.  Executing the Plan
This is the "storming of the castle" - so-to-speak. It must be challenging but at this point in story, it also has to feel foolproof.  It should feel like, "There's no way we can actually do this," but they are   going to try it anyway. As the story unfolds the reader should be thinking, "I can't believe it! They might just pull this off!"

A great example is in the movie Independence Day when Will Smith and Jeff Goldbloom are   actually considering flying an alien spaceship up into outer space, entering the  mother ship, infecting it with a computer virus and getting out of there in one piece.

As it looks like they are actually going to pull it all  together, this is where the growth of the minor characters pay off and satisfy  some arcs. It might even appear that perhaps "this is too easy..."

3. The High Tower Surprise
Think of the archetypical story where the hero reaches  the high tower where the princess is being held - or where he believes she is  being held - and he gets there to find NO PRINCESS!  Surprise!

We see now that we have become over confident in our plan. The bad guys may have even known we were coming the whole time. It is at this point that traitors are exposed. Our brilliant plan was nothing more than a  trap set by the Bad Guys.

No matter how much the  Main Character has endured, suffered and accomplished, in the end, it was simply  not enough. The real challenge of what the hero must do, the tests he must pass,  become clear.

4. Dig Down  Deep
The whole point to the finale is now revealed and it is  not what we expected. All human solution is exhausted. There's no back-up plan,  there's nothing. It is all down to the hero now - and he's come up short. It is  now up to the hero to strip everything away, and find the last ounce of strength  in order to win. 
This is the point  in the story where Obi-Wan says, "Use the Force Luke!" It's the point at which  the Main Character must abandon the natural world and go into the world with  faith unseen.

5. Execute the New Plan

The answer comes from a place we've all hoped is real,  and when the hero trusts enough to use it, HE WINS! And consequently, so do  we. 

It was only by stepping into the unknown - and trusting  it - that the Main Character (now truly the "Hero") could find the way to triumph.

BEAT 15 - FINAL  IMAGE    (p. 330)

This is where we end the book with the Main Character now, transformed into a synthesis of the two beings he has been   throughout the story: the original lump of clay, then the twisting and forming of his character through the last two Acts until he is a combination of the two.

Think of Peter Parker who by  the end is both Spiderman and Peter Parker, a fused new  character.

My next posting will discuss outlining using the 15 Beat System. Then a bit about how to organize and work on re-writes once you have a first draft completed.



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