Screenwriter Tips for Novelists: Mapping the Mushy Middle

Category: Writing Craft, Story Structure, Screenwriter Tips for Novelists

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Last week I wrote about how to Create Character Change and the importance of making sure your character’s flaw is foiling her in Act II. This led one of my fellow Write On Sisters to comment that the “mushy middle” is a hard section to write. That it is. Robin wrote about it here from a baker’s perspective. Now it’s my turn to put a screenwriter spin on this difficult section of the manuscript.

I used to be completely confounded by Act II. I’d read Syd Field and knew there was something smack dab in the middle called a “Midpoint” where the character is farthest from their goal. But that definition always seemed a little vague. It wasn’t until I read Blake Synder’s SAVE THE CAT books that I gained some clarity about what actually happens in Act II…

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