Act Three, According to Snyder

According to Snyder’s book, Save the Cat, the third act of a story should have the following:

  1. Break Into Three: At the end of Act Two, everything went wrong for the main character. In this section, everything needs to turn. The main character needs to have that “ah-ha” moment where he (or another character) discovers the way to reach the goal. Once he has figured it out, he needs to act on it.
  2. Finale: The main character has met his goal. This is where you wrap up all of the plot lines. Does the boy get the girl? Do they live happily ever after? If you put “the six things that need fixing” in the setup, this is where you show them fixed.
  3. Final Scene: This beat probably makes more sense on screen, but the idea is that you give one final image of the main character. In Snyder’s opinion, this should be the opposite of the opening image.

This brings us to the end of the posts on the 15 story beats, according to Blake Snyder. Keep in mind that this is only one chapter out of his book Save the Cat. The book has a ton of other great tips, such as Save the Cat, Pope in the Pool… BUY IT! And that, my friends, brings us to the end of this infomercial.

In my next post, I’ll discuss scene writing.