I had my first look at applying the Save the Cat paradigm to the second half of the second act of Come Ups today. So far things are looking pretty good. The STC paradigm requires four plot points or beats over this section of the script. They are:
The Bad Guys Close In (pages 55 - 75) - The bad guys regroup and prepare to move against the heroes
All is Lost (page 75) - a moment symbolic of the hero's belief that there is no hope in recovery against the forces allied against him
The Dark Night of the Soul (pages 75 - 85) - how the hero feels or reacts to the All is Lost moment, which leads him to discover the solution to his problem
Break Into Act 3 (page 85) - Like the Break Into Act 2, the hero decides to put his solution into action
I start this section a little late with The Bad Guys Close In beginning on page 77. I also run a little longer than the prescribed 30 pages, but all my elements seem to be here. In Bad Guys, Hiram and Reydel plot their action against the boys. The All is Lost beat contains the whiff of death with Reydel threatening Grady's kids. And the Dark Night of the Soul certainly creates the sense of no recovery or no solution to the hero's problem with the death of Grady and his family. I need a stonger decision from Shep on the 'solution' for the Act 3 break, but I'm not too concerned with that just yet.
I have a major rewrite in the first scene of this section due to some story changes in the first half of the script. Otherwise, everything should stay pretty much the same. It just needs to be more focused and condensed. One of the problems I know I will encounter will be an underwritten third act. Once I shorten this section, my page count will drop below 110 pages, probably by 5 - 7 pages. That means the third act is going to come up short. There is also going to be a big change in the third act when I drop the contrived ending with the church. So there are going to be some big changes down the road, but right now I need to concentrate on this latter half of the second act.
One of the problems I'm going to have to work through here is issue of Tyler's gun. In the original version, Tyler scooped up a gun at the shootout. He uses that gun in the confrontation it Reydel at Shep's trailer just before the third act break. In the new STC version, Shep disarms Tyler and takes the gun just before the first act break. That means Tyler no longer has a gun to confront Reydel. I've either got to figure out a way to rearm Tyler or do a substantial rewrite on that scene. I'm hoping to get most of this section completed tomorrow, so we'll see how that works out on Day 40. This little dilmena could add some time to my rewriting process. Hopefully, I'll figure it out quickly.