The Shape of Things to Come

“As for the story, whether the poet takes it ready made or constructs it for himself, he should first sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail.”

(Poetics, Part XVII)

As we’ve seen, a good story is made up of the necessary and connected events that pose a dramatic question at the beginning and answer it at the end, that give a hero a dramatizable objective, chronicle his pursuit of it, and ultimately resolve whether or not it’s achieved. And we’ve seen that those same necessary and connected events also help produce a hero’s change of fortune, getting him from who he is at Point A to who he’s become at Point Z.

The STRUCTURE of a story, plain and simple, ...

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