THE DREADED 2nd ACT: How to Tame it

THE DREADED 2nd ACT: How to Tame it

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Let’s be honest – nobody’s favorite part of screenwriting is the second act. Our inspirations begin with great ideas and can take us to amazing conclusions, but our creative juices seldom get turned on by all that cumbersome story development found in the vast, dark, empty regions that lie somewhere between the beginning and the end of a story. This part of the writing process is just plain hard work – for both you and your protagonist. But quite frankly, there’s no way around it. However, if you learn to work with the transformational arc you will discover that the 2nd act is not a barren wilderness, but a place of remarkable potential.

The transformational arc is, in effect, the interior line of structure. Whereas the plot guides the external conflict and action, the arc guides the inner, emotional development of the characters as they are forced to deal with the conflict of the plot. Using the arc makes the story more human and relatable and greatly expands a writer’s ability to identify and stay focused on the deeper thematic, emotional and even spiritual dimensions of a story. It is the arc that truly makes a script more powerful, meaningful and marketable.

While it’s important to not confuse art with technique, as a script consultant for the past 30 years, Dara Marks has found that writers who develop strong technique have a much great ability to write in a more creative and distinctive way. The 2nd act, like all other aspects of a script, serves a profound and valuable function in storytelling. Learn to tame it and you will forever have a great asset at your command.


  • How to keep the momentum flowing.
  • How to make the 2nd act a masterpiece.
  • How to make people care about what you write.
  • How to develop more dimensional and interesting characters.
  • How to separate your script from the pack and get it noticed.
  • How to put the juice back into your writing experience.
  • How to maximize every scene.


  • Writers who want to deepen and enrich their work.
  • Writers who are feeling lost in their story.
  • Writers who are struggling to complete their first draft.
  • Writers who want a better understanding of how to approach their rewrite.
  • Writers who don’t want to make cookie-cutter movies.
  • Writers who want more from story structure than to just fill-in-the-blanks.
  • Writers who want to get to the heart of what their story really has to say.
  • Writers who care about the quality of their work.

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.