Writing a Mystery using the 3 Act method

In July I sold another book!
If you've read Restore My Heart, you'll know that one of the hero's siblings is at loose ends at the end of the book. In the ensuing two years, a lot happens and ... well, you'll see. The new book's working title is Reclaim My Life and is a Witness Security Program story. The manuscript is due Dec. 1, and the tentative release date is 2009.

This is one that I haven't actually written yet, so I'll be very busy the next four months. I try to write in a 3-act method, like a stage play. I hope to have act one finished by the end of August. I absolutely must be at the mid-point at the end of September, which is that event in Act II when everything shifts.
Any of you writers use this method? It seems to help my pacing, although it's really just another version of the story arc. If you aren't too busy meeting your own deadline, comment on what tricks you use to write toward your deadline, whether it's a contractual one or self-imposed.


Cheryl Norman

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Comment by Cheryl Norman on August 30, 2007 at 4:53am
Jack, I'm not sure. I'm guessing it is. It's basically the classic story arc, where the midpoint of the book/story is mid-way in Act II. Think Pride and Prejudice. This is where Darcy unexpectedly proposes.
Comment by JackBludis on August 29, 2007 at 12:24pm
Tell me about the three-act method. Is it the same as the screenplay paradigm?

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