Friday, 1 January 2010

Aristotle's Six Elements of Drama...

How I Heard About This: As I've started to write a script I started looking through my old film degree notes and found this. I don't know if remembering something counts as learning a new thing but it was very new to me reading it today.
Main Source:
Backup Source:
Topic: Story Structure/Writing

Detail: Aristotle's Poetics theories have influenced almost every great play-write of the last two thousand years.

The six elements of Drama are:

* The Characters: It is important to make sure your characters are watchable as your story will be told through their trials and tribulations. Whether they are a Mother Theresa or Adolf Hitler they must be compelling else they should be re-written or scrapped.

* Plot (Action): This is what actually goes on in your story and in what order it all happens. Classic three act structure consists of you plucking your hero out of his ordinary life, treating him pretty badly and then putting him back down again. It is important to keep things moving and always interesting. Some writers think that you should have a surprise on every page.

* Ideas: A good story always means something. What does your story mean and what is it's central theme? This central theme should be weaved into every part of your story.

* Dialogue: The dialogue (or lyric poetry) is very important. If your characters talk, then they need something to say, and a way to say it. They should have some form of accent, even if it's RP, and how they say things will tell the audience a lot about who they are and where they come from.

* Music: Music is an incredibly powerful tool. From the earliest operas, ballets and plays through to modern cinema: music can easily create tension and affect the emotions of the audience. It should be used carefully but if done well will add an amazing amount to your story/play/film.

* Spectacle: This is everything that is included in the visual and audio production. The explosions, the magic, the sounds, the costumes and set are all part of the spectacle and people's enjoyment can be increased by careful use (or even lack) of spectacle.

According to Aristotle, great Drama is formed by understanding these six elements, and by combining them carefully.

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