The transition between the end of Act Two and the beginning of Act Three is the Second Plot Point.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
There’s a little bit of story that is still needed before we wade into Act Three.
Act Two will be tailing off by now, and our hero is in the shit. Things are getting worse, odds are stacked against her and just before we get to the end of Act Two, we’re all convinced that all is lost. There seems to be no way out of it, which is weird, because there still a good 25% left of the book (or twenty-five minutes left in the movie).
And that’s where the second plot point comes in. Save the last clue for here. Let this be the place where the hero discovers that final piece of the puzzle that points to the inevitable conclusion. Even better if the hero sees it, but the reader doesn’t realise the implications yet.
Up to this point, your hero doesn’t have the complete picture. The battles they fight aren’t always the right battles.
Did you see “Attack the Block”? It’s the movie John Boyega was known for (as Moses) before he became Finn in the latest Star Wars movie. I’ll be putting up a deconstruction of it shortly at TonyMcFadden.net, but there are a few key scenes leading up to, and including the Second Plot Point we can talk to here.
Attack the block is a low budget sci-fi with kids from a housing estate spending the night fighting off an invasion of aliens that look like “…a monkey fucked a fish.”
After a bad turn where the alien gorillas turned the tables and trapped the kids in Ron’s big weed room,
surrounding them and looking like they were about to rip the humans to pieces (the “all is lost/we’re totally in the shit/there’s no way out” moment), we have the second plot point.
The UV lights in the hydroponic weed room illuminate splotches of something all over Moses’ jacket. Pheromones (“an eco-hormone that triggers an emotional response in the opposite sex”). They realise that the pheromones on the jacket are the reason they have been targeted, and are the key to trapping the gorilla-monkey things and removing them once and for all.
And this sets up Act Three. The final piece of the puzzle. All of the information is now known and all the hero needs to do is execute.
Even if it kills him.