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Classical Storytelling and Contemporary Screenwriting by Brian Price

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Aristotle’s Guiding Precepts

  1. TO TELL A GOOD STORY EFFECTIVELY, WE MUST a) SHOW OUR AUDIENCE SOMETHING UNIVERSAL OF THEMSELVES AND THEIR WORLD REFLECTED BACK TO THEM, AND b) THROUGH THAT IDENTIFICATION, GIVE THEM AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE.
  2. THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF A SCREENPLAY IS THE STORY.
  3. IN A GOOD STORY, TRUTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS.
  4. A GOOD STORY IS INFUSED FROM START TO FINISH WITH CONFLICT.
  5. A GOOD STORY HAS CLOSURE, WITH A CLEAR BEGINNING, MIDDLE, AND END.
  6. A GOOD STORY HAS A UNITY OF ACTION, ONE DEFINED BY A HERO’S OBJECTIVE.
  7. IN A WELL-CONSTRUCTED PLOT, EVERY EVENT IS CAUSED OR AFFECTED BY WHAT PRECEDES IT AND CAUSES OR AFFECTS WHAT FOLLOWS, ACCORDING TO THE LAWS OF NECESSITY AND PROBABILITY.
  8. A SOUND PLOT IS BUILT UPON MOTIVATED ...

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