This might seem like a no-brainer to some, but blogging about it gets it clearer in my head, so I beg your indulgence and all that...
In my 2nd Act struggle (mine, not the characters), I'm taking a scene from a previous draft and using what some folks call "deep structure" on it. I'm now seeing its place in the story and looking at it as a sequence, giving that sequence a structure and then breaking it down into structured scenes and beats.
I structured the previous drafts around sequences but this time I'm taking those sequences and giving them a tighter structure themselves, breaking it down to make sure that everything counts and pushes the story forward. This is making it all clearer in my own mind and is veering me away from my old technique of writing reams of notes and trying to glue it all together. I'm taking those notes and trying to be more organised about it all. Otherwise, I reckon I could get lost in it all again and become mired in exposition and historical facts when I need to take every moment and see how it affects my main character.
This all comes down to being a more organised writer. Things become clearer to me when I begin to break them down and see how they are all essentially the individual bricks which make the individual walls which make the structure of each floor of the cavernous building I'm essentially writing.
Wow. That was a bit of a wanky metaphor, but even blogging about it helps me get it clearer in my mind. The other important part is maintaining my patience and not just start slapping the bricks together with too much mortar and then getting in a rage when it all falls apart (As some folks know, I'm not known for my patience).
Basically, the bleedin' obvious become more apparent to me is that Beginning, Middle and End all still matter within a sequence or a scene, as much as within the overall, conventional 3 Act Structure.
Anyway, this sequence is now beginning to excite me, both creatively and from an audience point of view. Moments are now becoming clearer and have more substance to them and I'm enjoying running it through my head.
Let's see what happens...