Wednesday, January 20, 2010

BOOK CLUB: Morals & Reversal of Fortune

[Today we're reading Ch.13 How a Little Moralizing Turned a Gladiator Gore Fest into a Best Picture, & Ch.14 A Movie is Long Enough So It Ends...Happy or Sad, from Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters, by Michael Tierno (2002).]

*Forgive the two chapters in one. My computer crashed yesterday, sending me in a
slight panic. I'm on another computer, praying my laptop is ok.

These two chapters address the fact that a story needs a moral contradiction and
a reversal of fortune.

1. Moral contradiction is that the character is doing the wrong thing when the
right thing is happening. And vice versa.

The audience wants to experience that dilemma through someone else. How would they handle such a sticky wicket?

One can also look at the moral contradiction as the problem the character wrestles with, & as a result, changes.

2. Aristotle was also big on " reversal of fortune," i.e., from happy to sad, or
sad to happy.

Why? I think it's b/c it's a natural arc of transformation. If the character is static, there's not much need for a story, right?

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: #1 I've taken my laptop for granted & won't do that again. I'm not ready for it to go to laptop heaven.

#2 Imagine moral contradictions as decision points, and reversal of fortune is the yellow brick road between those decision points.

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