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Trough of Hell: How to Wrap Up the Middle of Your Story with Maximum Impact (Story Structure Essentials)
by H. R. D'Costa
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Release Date2014-01-20 (added to CC 8 Feb)
Amazon Sales Rank225,151

Conquer Act Two. Complete Your Story in Less Time—and with Less Frustration.


If you’re like me, you know how your screenplay or novel* is going to start and end. Maybe not the exact image or line, but you’ve got a rough idea of what you’re going to write. So you begin writing your story with lots of enthusiasm...until you reach the middle, aka Act Two.

That’s where you get stuck. Suddenly, all of your enthusiasm evaporates. Blank pages are scary in general. Blank pages from Act Two, those are downright terrifying. But if you figure out which events end Act Two—often referred to as the “all is lost” moment—everything else will fall into place. If you do that, you’ll be writing screenplay or novel pages quickly. They’ll be good pages too. Pages which engage, excite, and enthrall.

So, How Do You Write a Screenplay or Novel with a Perfect “All Is Lost” Moment?


It’s simple: craft a sequence which is filled with pain, emotion, and paradox...what I like to call the hero’s “trough of hell.” Combined, these three elements re-engage audiences, right when their interest is about to flag. That’s why it’s so important to use your writing skills to get this story structure essential right.

With This Screenwriting Guide, You’ll Learn:

  • how to use 4 different pain types to inflict maximum damage to your hero (and why you should)
  • 3 methods to make the trough of hell more emotionally intense—without altering a single beat of the “all is lost” moment
  • how a hero seems to be the furthest away from his goal, when you and I both know he’s about to accomplish it in 15 pages (give or take)
  • 7 common ways to end Act Two and how to overcome the unique challenges each presents
  • how to enchant audiences by combining multiple trough types
  • the trick Peter Jackson used to increase the emotional weight of THE TWO TOWERS
  • why the most effective way to hurt your hero—even in an action movie—does...

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