Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
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~ Step 94 ~

Plot - Act Two Ending

In the last step you have determined either to put a ground-shaking problem in the previous middle section of act two, or you are planning to put it in this one.

Remember that if your characters’ mid-novel turning-point problem requires a major reorganization of their plans, then it should have been in the last section leaving this section for them to reorganize and/or recover.  But if you chose to put the problem in this section, make sure the problem does not require substantial reorganization, just a change or direction beginning in act three.  

You can have act two go out with a bang if you drop your plot twist right at the end of this section.  Or, if the bang was in the middle section you can have this section (and act two) go out with a whimper.

Now don't let the word fool you, a whimper can be very effective.  As an example, suppose in the middle of act two a natural disaster occurs as the Plot Twist bang.   All the food the group has with them is scattered to the winds.  After this disaster, all the food that can be found must be found.

The end section of act two in such a story would involve finding the food, patching bags, rounding up lost horses, fixing what's broken and so on, recovering.

At the very last, everything is ready to go, and the character who is carrying the final food sees a last grain of rice on a rock, picks it up, drops it in a bag, gets on his horse and leaves with the group.

That moment with the single grain of rice is the whimper.  It ends the act with a subtle sense of closure and the anticipation that act three will begin with a new sense of purpose and new challenges for the characters.

Referring the material you selected for the second act, describe the remaining exposition that has not yet been revealed, drawing the second act to a close.