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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Twenty-NineDescription

What You See Is What You Get

“Tragedy, like epic poetry, produces its effect even without action; it reveals its power by mere reading.”

(Poetics, Part XXVI)

Any discussion of writing effective description must begin with a simple truth that for some reason gets barely mentioned in screenwriting books.

Screenplays are meant to be READ.

Aristotle asserts that one of the qualities that makes drama superior to any other literary form is that it not only can be PERFORMED, unlike those other mediums, but also:

“has vividness of impression in READING as well as representation.”

(Poetics, Part XXVI)

Sure, you could argue that he’s talking about plays, a literary form that exists independent of production, texts you’ll ...

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