3 Mistakes Screenwriters Make In Act 2 That Ruin A Screenplay – Shannan E. Johnson

Writer/Instructor and Script Consultant Shannan E. Johnson (The Professional Pen): This is the goal, this is the story and the writer is doing this…

Film Courage: What are the elements of story that have to happen in Act 2?

Shannan: Good question. In Act 2 some people call this the fun and games place. I call it the trial and error place. I look at it like this is your recipe, this is your I want to bake a cake, how? Step one, do this step. Two, do this. In Act 2 we’re actually watching the character try to achieve the goal successfully or unsuccessfully. Being able to see them actually take physical steps toward doing that thing is what we’re watching. Now we’re going to start putting in the complications and I like to call it complications and not conflict because people see conflict and they go Just add some negative something, right? But a complication is something that’s very specific to stand in the way of the goal. They’re going to start coming in contact with things that are hindering them from getting what they need. Things that are…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).









About Shannan:

After grad school I became a junior creative executive at NBCUniversal at the Syfy Channel. I was there for the rebrand. Remember Sci Fi? Yeah, not really. Anywho, it was my job to help writers and producers take their ideas from pitch to production. I co-exec’d on Alphas, Being Human, Haven, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, and more Syfy dramedies. This is how I honed my skill in all stages of the screenwriting process…(read more here).


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