Act III is the outcome of your novel and should take up roughly, 25-10% of the novel.
To close the category on how to write the beginning of your novel I am going to outline the structure that each act in a novel should have. The source that I used to gather this information is Joseph Bates’s book The Nighttime Novelist: Finish Your Novel In Your Spare Time. For anyone who is wishing to write a novel in their dwindling spare time, I would recommend this book. It has been a huge help to me. In this post I will be using the outline structure and elements from Joseph Bate’s book and adding my own blurbs and explanations.
Keep in mind that Act III of your novel will be the most contentious considering that this is when your climax will happen, but that will be followed by a release of breath with your falling action and resolution.
Act III consists of two basic elements:
- The Climax
- The Resolution
The climax is going to address and jeopardize everything that the main character has stood for throughout the entire novel. Of all the scenes in your book, this should be the one that causes tears to fall, hearts to jump, and loud whoops of triumph when your character finally claims victory against the odds. The climax should consider the characters original external and internal motivations and goals to taper the outcome to a satisfying ending.
The resolution then is the aftermath of the climax and should include everything on this list:
- Should answer all the questions that the book had posed
- Should reward all the anticipation and suspense instilled throughout the book in a final, all-encompassing, release (this would be included in the climax also)
- Should reveal how the completed character and plot arc effects the specific character and their world
- Should suggest how the completed character and plot arc has plangency and meaning for everyone out there in the real world (or in other words what it should mean to the readers) -Hint! Hint! This is the part where theme comes in, big time!-
That being said, here are some other things to keep in mind when writing Act III. Whether your story ends happily, tragically, or (as in a flat character act) with no change, the reader expects the story to end well. Something to consider is that when looking back on the beginning after you’ve finished writing the end the two should mirror each other. What do I mean by that? Well, when you look back at the beginning of the novel the end should seem, on some level, to have been inevitable. Yet, when looking back through Act II there should be enough conflict that the characters victory or failure is never clear, therefore to the readers the outcome never seems predestined. The end should retroactively effect the way we perceive everything that’s come before it.
Sounds like a tall order right? It is, but don’t stress over it, at least not yet. You can handle it, as long as you plan it out and then let your ideas flow naturally, everything will turn out well in the end.
In order to not give away the entire plot of The Meer Series Book One, I am going to include a link to a good example of these for anyone that is interested:
Click here for more information on Joseph Bates’s book The Nighttime Novelist: