Throwing out the first act

Finishing my last post brought an insight that means I’m ditching the first act, at least those scenes involving Adam and Reiner.

The ideas for this change bubbled up after a lot of research about Reiner’s totalitarian mindset. I’ve been concerned since the outset with the action that puts Adam in conflict with Reiner. The idea I’ve been working with, has his relationship with Christine provide the conflict, that pits the two men against each other.

But I’ve never really been happy with how that scenario plays out. It wasn’t strong enough, and doesn’t explain Adam’s decision to put his self-righteous attitudes to one side and save Christine. Neither does it explain the vitriol Reiner has for Adam.

What I’ve really been looking for is something that serves two functions.

First it has to force Adam to land definitively on Christine’s side. Second it has to make an absolute enemy of Reiner. I think I’ve found the solution in the hierarchical structure of the totalitarian regime. Reiner puts his standing with the regime on the line when he sponsors Adam’s induction. The price of admission is Christine, Adam must kill her. When he refuses, he not only puts himself on the wrong side of the regime, he also makes a mortal enemy of Reiner.

Adam is cast out, throw into a cell with Christine and John, condemn to suffer the fate of all junkies in the coming genocide. This changed scenario brings with it an inciting event that kick-starts the story. It allies him with Christine but lets her be an opponent. It gives Reiner a character specific reason to hate Adam.

This mirrors the final battle, resonating against Adam’s choice to help Christine commit suicide.

I hope that all makes sense, this really is me thinking out loud.

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