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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Twenty-EightScenes

The Building Blocks

“In constructing the plot and working it out with the proper diction, the poet should place the scene, as far as possible, before his eyes. In this way, seeing everything with the utmost vividness, as if he were a spectator of the action, he will discover what is in keeping with it, and be most unlikely to overlook inconsistencies.”

(Poetics, Part XVII)

Up to this point, we’ve been discussing how a successful screenplay follows the classical principles laid out by Aristotle. It is an imitation of an action that is complete, unified, whole, and of a certain magnitude. It charts a hero’s Change of Fortune through the pursuit of a dramatizable objective, and ultimately, it provides an emotional experience. ...

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