Sequence 3: Raising the Stakes

Okay. So your protagonist walks through the threshold, the door closes behind him – crunch, crunch goes the key in the lock. You have completed Act One. Your main character now has no choice but to tackle the predicament that propels him or her through the main tension of the Second Act.

In the first sequence of Act Two, your hero begins his or her first attempts to solve the problem, which usually fail because your character is beaten by the first obstacle. This is a big deal because your character can’t go back into the safety of his or her previous life and status quo, and because there is no security blanket, the stakes are much higher now. There is so much more to lose. In this sequence, it is also important to show the ramifications of the character’s failed attempts, which should result in an increase in complications.