Act three is also called synthesis. It has three beats. This part fuses the first two acts. Things finally get fixed here. It starts about eighty percent of the way in the story. There is a breakthrough. The hero finally accepts they have to change.
The finale resolves all the problems that cropped up in act two. This is the proof that the hero has learned their lesson. This happens between the eighty and ninety-nine percent mark of the story. It cab a many-beat part and it takes up most of the third act. We can break it up into five sub-beats.
The first is gathering the team. The hero needs help. So they turn to their friends and allies. Together they will solve the issues. The hero may need to mend fences with their friends, this is where that happens. It can also be a gathering of tools. The hero gets what they need to resolve the issues.
The second is executing the plan. This should seem impossible. The allies need to question the plan. This is the point where secondary characters make a B story sacrifice. They die or fall out for some reason or other, leaving the hero to go it alone.
Next up is the Hight Tower Surprise. Everything is going well, so something has to create a setback. The hero gets trapped or received a surprise of some sort. This demonstrates the overconfidence of the hero. It shows how naive the hero and their team are. It’s another twist in the story to force the hero to prove their worth.
The fourth sub-beat is the dig down deep. The hero must overcome the surprise setback. Plan A has failed. It’s time for Plan B, whether they had one or not. This is the moment in which the hero changes. They have to make a leap of faith.
The fifth sub-beat is the execution of the new plan. The hero puts the new plan into place and it works. But, if the plan fails, show why it happened.
The five sub-beat finale isn’t necessary, but is something to try and it may be useful to do.
The final image is the last beat in the story. This should show how the hero has changed. This should show that the hero is a different person from the one yet were at beginning of the story.
I hope you enjoyed our little deep dive into the beat sheet. I hope I was able to help you to do one for your story. The beat sheet is a good tool for story telling and this helped you with your plotting. As always, have fun, stay safe, and keep writing.
Leave a Reply