Mid-point scene: It’s all uphill from here.

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Last week we talked about writing that first scene.     Today we talk about writing the mid-point scene.  This scene comes almost directly in the middle of your novel.
It’s the point of no return.    Where the stakes get high…and real.
Syd Field, who was a master at crafting screenplays, says that ideally, the mid-point scene is where the antagonist holds up a mirror and shows the protagonist his main flaw and that unless he fundamentally changes, he’s going to lose.    He’s pushed to the wall.   He has to change to survive.
That’s great advice for writing the mid-point scene in your novel.
Leading up to this mid-point scene, your character will have resisted—over and over—changing his behavior, but here, in this scene, he gets clarity.    He gets that the reason things are collapsing around him, that nothing he’s tried has worked, is because of …well…him.    He owns up to his own failures…and changes his behavior.
So…sketch out that mid-point scene where the mirror is held up and the protagonist has to change in order to get what he wants.
This is just a draft, but if you take a stab at this scene now, it will help drive the action of your script from that opening scene, to this midpoint.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make it visual.    
    Let us see, taste, smell this moment where the protagonist gets that it’s his own behavior that’s created this mess.
  • Make it emotional.   
    This is the place to pull out the stops.   We need to feel the moment where your character shatters.  He’s created this mess.    This is his doing.   His blind spot.    His failure.    And his chance for redemption.
  • Make the stakes high.  
    We have to feel that it’s by no means a sure thing that this going to work.      Everything is riding on this.   He’s gambling.     It may be too late, but it’s the only move left.    He has to give up his flaw or die.  
    Literally, figuratively.

Write!   Have fun!   See you next week!

Vlog Produced by: Pat Allen

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