In an attempt to obtain a clear picture of the whole novel, I'm getting ready to sit down with my pages and plot it out, scene by scene in an Excel doc. It sounds like a tedious process, but in doing so, I find a lot of the plot flaws along the way, and when I have a finished scene-tracker Excel doc, it makes a great reference for all future edits.
It also, potentially, helps me see if I have a strong third act. I'm almost positive that I have the structure of three acts. My hesitation is based on the fact that I think I might actually have a second and a third act, but a precariously defined or absent act one. The edits could go several different ways, and I want the clarity of an Excel doc to see the book at a glance. The easiest way to determine if a novel is complete is to assign the points of the hero's journey to it; if one of the elements is missing, my novel isn't complete.
So in light of my next step, I thought I'd share the basic steps of the hero's journey and the general template of any great story's structure—from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, they all follow these general guidelines:
The Hero’s Journey
CALL TO ADVENTURE:
REFUSAL OF THE CALL:
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD:
TEST AND TRIALS:
APPROACH OF INNERMOST CAVE:
ROAD BACK TO ORDINARY WORLD:
RETURN WITH ELIXIR, TWO WORLDS COMBINED: