Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

Rising Action: Act Two Woes

The dreaded second act! This is where a lot of writers get lost in the woods. But one simple way to keep safely on the trail is to use rising action as a guide.

From the beginning of the second act, where your hero is locked-in to the dramatic situation, a serious conflict has been created, and the hero’s efforts to solve the predicament lead to different sequences of rising action. In each sequence, rising action builds until the hero finds a way to solve the conflict. Then, a new sequence begins, with a new obstacle, which creates a new tension, and a new series of rising actions begin.

The trick is to make this all appear seamless as one entire unit. One solution is to connect each sequence. One set of actions may result from the consequences of previous actions, or the antagonist might respond with new counteractions, which create new obstacles.