THE HUNGER GAMES – A continuation of the ACTS dissection.
ACT TWO is where the author needs to keep the suspense building or the reader will put the book down. Typically, Act Two is about 60% of the total book. A LOT happens in this act.
Specifically, in the beginning of HG Act Two, Katniss prepares for the Games. During the pre-games Peeta declares his love for her. She’s angry because she thinks it makes her look weak. But during this act Katniss learns how to get sponsors–those who can help her win. She must get them to like her the game and pretend she’s in love with Peeta.
But let’s look at our main goal for this act: To keep the reader reading.
So how do you keep act two alive?
But the conflict can’t be just any conflict. There needs to be obstacles that prevent the heroine from achieving her goal.
Let’s look at HG and dissect Katniss’s journey. (Hint: If you, as an author, can understand these elements, you too can build a successful middle story.)
How does Suzanne Collin’s keep the suspense building throughout all of Act Two?
Gives Katniss challenges to overcome. She has to:
- Defend herself at the Cornucopia and fight off the other Tributes for supplies
- Escape the initial massacre
- Search for food and water
- Escape the fire the Capitol instigated
- Heal from her burns
- Escape the Career Tributes who wait for her at the bottom of a tree
- Survive a wasp bite
- Blow up Cato’s supply area
- Spear her first tribute
- Katniss finds water
- She receives the bread
- Receives the medication for her burns
- The boy from Rue’s district spares Katniss’s life
- Katniss stays true to her values and gives Rue a decent burial
- Receives the medication for Peeta’s leg
Katniss learns to play the games. This kiss gives us hope that Katniss will reach her goal because she’s giving the sponsors what they want.
Raises the stakes:
In summary, how can you keep your readers from yawning through Act Two of your story? (Thank you to Susan May Warren at My Book Therapy for teaching me the following skills.) http://www.MyBookTherapy.com)
What will the obstacles be in your Act Two?