13 Week Rewrite: Week Ten – Surrender

This week, you’ll rewrite up to the end of Act Two, where your hero surrenders the possibility of ever achieving his goal. Through this surrender, he experiences a death of his old identity and reframes his relationship to his goal.

In the rewrite, it’s often helpful to not just recognize where this moment lives in your story but also to look closely into the meaning that your hero makes out of his goal. It’s not the hero’s goal that gets surrendered. Instead, he surrenders the meaning he attaches to that goal. By exploring not only how but why it’s impossible to achieve his goal, you’ll be led to a more specific relationship with the end of Act Two.

Why is it impossible for your hero to achieve his goal? The answer doesn’t lie in a physical situation, although it may appear so. Rather, the impossibility springs from a deeper, more primal place.

There shouldn’t be any need to manufacture this moment.  You only need to make it as clear and specific as possible. The end of Act Two is the linchpin of the story. The story turns on this point, and without clarity on the plight, it can careen off the rails.

To help you through this vital part of the story, consider these questions:

  • What event happens that leads your hero to recognize the impossibility of achieving his goal?
  • At this point in the story what has your hero lost, and what must he let go of?
  • What is the meaning that he made out of his goal?
  • How does he reframe his goal?
  • How does reframing his goal alter his outlook?

For an example of how my character Eowain handled this moment of surrender, you can check out chapters 13 and 14 from The Romance of Eowain on Wattpad.

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About

Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. He is currently working as an independent freelancer. He lives in the Greater New York City area.

Posted in Editing, Process, Writing craft

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The Author
Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. He is currently working as an independent freelancer. He lives in the Greater New York City area.
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