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Sequence 2: The Lock In

By Michael Schilf · April 7, 2010


The second sequence continues fleshing out previous elements: revealing new layers within the Protagonist, clarifying more Rules of the World, continuing the Status Quo. Additional characters are also introduced – both friends and rivals. It is quite common to go into the enemy’s layer, especially if a NEW WORLD needs to be clarified. This sequence also affords more time to involve the supporting cast: a mentor, a lover, a best friend.

But there are additional elements as well: (1) The inciting incident only opens a door to the possible predicament to come, but our protagonist has yet to walk through it, so it’s critical to RAISE THE STAKES. The situation should be a big one – a matter of life or death. (2) The protagonist’s OBJECTIVE is key. What drives him and what are the lengths he is willing to go to get it? (3) Act One ends with the second major plot point when the central character(s) is LOCKED-IN to the predicament, propelling him into a new direction and the MAIN TENSION of Act Two.