Part 2 is the hero’s response to the introduction of this new situation, as represented by the conflict itself. It’s too early to have him attack the problem. Part 2 is about a reaction, through action, decision, or indecision, to the antagonistic force; and the launch of a new quest to fulfill a newly defined need.
The context of every scene in Part 2 is response. To what? To the new quest, goal, stakes, and obstacles as introduced at the First Plot Point. If you, the writer, have succeeded in Part 1 of the story, the reader will care about that journey.
In Part 2 the hero is running, hiding, analyzing, observing, recalculating, planning, recruiting, or anything else required before moving forward. If you have your hero being too heroic here, being brilliant, already knocking heads with the bad guys (or some other dark force), it’s too early. You’re in violation of structural principles if that’s the case.
In The Da Vinci Code, Langdon spends the entirely of Part 2 simply running away from the cops who are chasing him. It’s all blind response, without knowing who is after him or why, and therefore without a clue as to how he can turn the tables and begin to defend or attack, and expose the truth. That’s what’s ahead in Part 3 of the story, which is a completely different context.
At the end of Part 2, just when the hero thinks he has it figured out, when he has a plan, everything about Langdon’s journey, and the reading experience, changes. This is the Midpoint of the story, which is a major milestone in its own right (which we’ll cover in chapter thirty-four).
In Part 2, the hero is a wanderer, staggering through a forest of options and
risks, not sure where to go or what to do next He is no longer orphaned as he was in Part 1; he now has a purpose, a life, a quest, and it’s just beginning.
Part 2 comprises roughly the next one hundred pages of your novel — which means, there’s an entire contextual infrastructure to it… stay tuned to see what the hero does about it — or, if you’re writing a screenplay, from page 27 to 60, give or take a few.
The excerpt is retrieved from the book ‘Story Engineering’