How to Outline: Using the 3 Act, 9 Block Structure: Part 3

Here is the final part of my tutorial on outlining with the 3 Act, 9 Block Structure. If you’re new to this series, check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well as  Katytastic’s YouTube video, and  Brittany Tenpenny’s blog posts, which both inspired this series.

In explaining the final nine parts of this strategy, I will once again reference The Hunger Games (THG) movie, so spoilers ahead.

Act 3: The Resolution

The traditional order of act three is:

Block 1

Trails

Pinch

Darkest Moment

Block 2

Power Within

Action

Converge

Block 3

Climax

Battle

Resolution

But, as I have said before the order of the steps in each act can be tweaked and rearranged to most effectively tell the story. I believe in THG, they are as follows, and that is the way I will discuss them:

Block 1

Trails

Pinch

Climax

Block 2

Battle

Darkest Moment  

Power Within

Block 3

Action

Converge

Resolution

Block 1 (Set up):

Trails: This is the part of the story where the hero is tested on multiple occasions to further prove his or her dedication. In THG, the entire games could be seen as trails, but by this point, the final series of tests come in the form of staying alive long enough for the last few tributes to die so Peeta and Katniss can go home.

Pinch: Plot twist number two. The stakes heighten for the protagonists. In the movie, Katniss thinks Peeta died by eating the deadly Nightlock berry.

Climax: The highest point of tension in a story. THG’s climax occurs when Katniss, Peeta, and Cato are the last three left in the arena.    

Block 2 (Climax):

Battle: in THG, it’s a literal battle between Katniss, Cato, and Peeta, which ends with Katniss shooting Cato to end his misery when he is being muffled by the mutts.

Darkest Moment: The hero is at their lowest point and does not know how they will go on. After the battle. Katniss and Peeta think the Games are over, only to have the GameMakers declare there can once again only be one victor.

Power Within: Similar to dedication. The hero must find the courage within themselves to move forward. This happens when Katniss and Peeta refuse to kill each other.

Block 3: (Resolution)

Action/Converge:  These are usually two separate steps where the hero takes action and then all of the elements of the plot come together, but in THG, I think they can function as one. Katniss realizes that someone needs to win in order for the Games to truly end, but also finally gives in to her love for Peeta and refuses to kill him. Instead, she takes action, and divides some Nightlock between her and Peeta. If she’s going to die, she’d rather do so on her own terms, as would Peeta.

Resolution: The final solution. The GameMakers panic upon seeing them eat the Nightlock and retract the rule before they can swallow. Peeta and Katniss spit out the berries and are allowed to go home.

And that’s the final act! I hope this tutorial was helpful to you!

Challenge of the Week: Was this helpful? What should I talk about next week?

 

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