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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Putting It All Together (Part 1)

“This is the essence of the story; the rest is episode.”

(Poetics, Part XVII)

So what have we learned so far, from Aristotle, with regards to what makes an effective story idea, one that will help lead us to a solid screenplay?

We’ve learned that a solid idea must strike a balance between personal truth and imagination, must be based upon an action that has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Must be rife with conflict. And must have at its heart, a unity of action, a dramatic question that is based upon a hero’s dramatizable objective, one posed at the beginning and resolved at the end.

Distilling all of these vital qualities down to their essence, in a way that befits our modern screenwriting ...

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