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“Of all plots and actions, the episodic are the worst. I call a plot ‘episodic’ in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence.”

(Poetics, Part IX)

I’m often faced with students who are terrified of discussing their story ideas in class. They’ve heard horror stories about writers being ripped off, brilliant ideas getting stolen.

To them, I tell the same story that was told to me by screenwriting guru Professor Richard Walter to put my own mind at ease. Paraphrased and adjusted for inflation.

The painting The Card Players by Paul Cezanne recently sold to the nation of Qatar for close to 300 million dollars. Pretty impressive. But just imagine that back in the 19th ...

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