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The Writing Machine

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

"Classic Story Elements"

From the May 2003 Meeting Notes
of the Scriptwriters Network: "Jeff Kitchen Spotlights Classic Story Elements."
Aristotle's "Poetics"

. . . a good strong dilemma (D), which builds to a crisis (C) and forces decision and action (D & A). This leads to a resolution (R) by the protagonist.

Kitchen defines dilemma as "two equally painful choices".

. . . The way in which the protagonist resolves the dilemma expresses the theme of the plot.

Sequence, Proposition, Plot

A plotting method where you work "backwards from an effect (your ending) to its cause", and then back to the cause of that, and so on until you get to the beginning.
"The trick is to only ask what the cause of an effect is, not what comes before it."
Should be "applied first to the whole script, then to each act, then to each sequence, and then to each scene."

Also mentions William Thompson Price, who might be a subject for later research. And Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations.

Posted to: plotting, polti


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