Part of my 30-day adventure is to read through the book Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters by Michael Tierno. There are 33 chapters in the book and 30 days in which to read them. That’s one of the reasons why I picked this book; that, and it’s compelling analysis of Aristotle’s Poetics.
I’ve read 23 chapters to date. The remaining schedule of reading is thus:
Chapter 24: It’s the Thought Behind the Action That Counts: Creating the Tone of Your Screenplay (Dec. 3)
Chapter 25: How to Cheat If You Can’t Hire a Whole Chorus (Dec. 4)
Chapter 26: How to Create Characters That Are Really Really Really Alive (Dec. 5)
Chapter 27: Dialog Is a Piece of the Action (Dec. 6)
Chapter 28: If the Pitch Doesn’t Fill Me with Horror and Pity, the Movie Won’t Either (Dec. 7)
Chapter 29: The Non-Linear Soul of Quentin Tarantino (Dec. 7)
Chapter 30: If Your Story Were a Musical, Where Would the Numbers Be? (Dec. Eight)
Chapter 31: History Repeats Itself…Real and Imagined (Dec. Eight)
Chapter 32: Aristotle’s Take on the Importance of Drama (Dec. 9)
Chapter 33: Aristotle Took Comedy Seriously (Dec. 9)
Closing Comments (Dec. 9)
I’m working on two screenplays at the moment (which is likely why one of them won’t be finished within my allotted 30 days).
The other script is is 75% done. But something I read in the last few chapters of Tierno’s book surprised me – so much so that I e-mailed my writing partner to request a more thorough examination of a couple of key points in the script.
Poetics isn’t easy reading. But Tierno does a good job of making it understandable.
Unfortunately, some of what Aristotle says seems to run contrary to what a few of today’s screenwriting gurus preach.
I’ll list and discuss a few of the unorthodox recommendations from the great philosopher before my 30 days are up.