“The change of fortune should be not from bad to good, but, reversely, from good to bad. It should come about as the result not of vice, but of some great error or frailty, in a character either such as we have described, or better rather than worse.”
(Poetics, Part XIII)
Aristotle’s discussion of plot, and the various choices a writer must make when constructing one, can seem dauntingly complex, circuitous, and downright contradictory. But trust me, once we follow his train of thought to its logical conclusion, we will discover a paradigm for plot that will prove indispensable.
So stick with me.
We’ll start where we left off. In a sound plot, our hero undergoes a transformation while pursuing an ...