People Who Write Should Throw Stones

“Let us then determine what are the circumstances which strike us as terrible or pitiful.”

(Poetics, Part XIV)

In the last chapter, we discussed how Aristotle thought drama to be of a higher order than history because the universal truths of the human experience could best be related through fiction. Thus an essential component of a sound story premise for a screenplay is that it be based upon a personal truth that has been filtered through one’s imagination.

The next vital component of a good story premise comes directly from Aristotle’s definition of drama. Remember, he says a good one affects through pity and fear the “proper purgation” of these emotions.

And what creates pity and fear, ...

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