The B story is something new, a subplot, that is layered onto the A story established in Act I. Subplots should contradict the central plot (irony), resonate with the central plot (variation on a theme), or complicate the central plot.
According to Blake, this is the promise of the premise, the fun and games part of the story. According to Dunne, this is the main emotion of the novel, where the story is told, rather than just the plot.
A big new twist moves the story in a new direction. This beat is matched with the “All is Lost” beat below. If this beat is UP, then that one is down, and vice versa.
While the “midpoint” may be a tried-and-true method in screenwriting, it may not apply too strictly to novels (something which can be said for all of the screenwriting structures that are enumerated in these books). However, it does work in this case.
The second half of Act II, up to the Act II Climax. The stakes are raised, games are over. The bad guys regroup, the good guys lose their footing, and they’re headed for the big fall…
This is where the Careers (professional Hunger Games players, and Katniss’ main opponents in the Games) are closing in on Rue, but Katniss doesn’t realize it yet. The Hunger Games is such a relentless hunt by the bad guys, it’s hard to discern when the stakes are raised, but this is definitely the point where the bad guys regain the upper hand just in time for … All is Lost.
This is a moment, where it appears that the hero has lost everything. Someone dies, possibly a mentor (or that character that symbolizes everything the hero wants).
The Act II and Act III Climaxes should alternate in their values – if one is UP, the other is DOWN, and vice versa. If ironic, then each will net out more positive or negative, and should still be opposites.
Cruel, cruel author.
Which is precisely what keeps us going to … the third Act! (Stay tuned…)