Day 149: Second Act Restructure
In my quest to make Reydel the protagonist, I did some rewrites at the top of the second act to bring more focus on to the 'bad guys' side of the story and away from Shep, Grady and Tyler. This was really just a slight restructuring of Hiram's reveal that he is searching for the "guys in a boat."
Instead of having Shep see this on TV in a very exposition-laden scene at Grady's bedside, I went directly to the press conference and built up Hiram's character and how he uses the press. It's a subtle shift of focus but changes the tone considerably. As the press conference winds down, we shift to Shep's trailer, he catches the tail end of it and learns that Hiram is looking for him, similar to how it happened originally, but this time, he's alone when he learns. He immediately tries to contact Tyler.
The next time we see Shep, he's barrelling into Grady's house in a panic. The tension is raised considerably and we learn that he was unable to find Tyler. They begin to formulate a plan and put it into action.
There is a lot more character building, forward progression and a raising of the stakes. I think it works better, but I'll learn more tomorrow night at a new writer's group called Rewrites. If those changes survive, I'll probably have to do some work on the first act. If Reydel is going to be the protagonist, he needs to be softened a bit so that audiences will want to go on a journey with him. He doesn't have to be the hero, but he does have to be someone we want to spend time with and watch his evolution over the next 100 minutes, even if that shift in his character becomes something unlikeable, he can't be that way at the start.