Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets from the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization

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Hachette Books, Oct 30, 2012 - Performing Arts - 192 pages
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An insightful how-to guide for writing screenplays that uses Aristotle's great work as a guide.

Long considered the bible for storytellers, Aristotle's Poetics is a fixture of college courses on everything from fiction writing to dramatic theory. Now Michael Tierno shows how this great work can be an invaluable resource to screenwriters or anyone interested in studying plot structure. In carefully organized chapters, Tierno breaks down the fundamentals of screenwriting, highlighting particular aspects of Aristotle's work. Then, using examples from some of the best movies ever made, he demonstrates how to apply these ancient insights to modern-day screenwriting. This user-friendly guide covers a multitude of topics, from plotting and subplotting to dialogue and dramatic unity. Writing in a highly readable, informal tone, Tierno makes Aristotle's monumental work accessible to beginners and pros alike in areas such as screenwriting, film theory, fiction, and playwriting.

Michael Tierno is an award-winning writer/director of feature films, including the independent film Auditions. He teaches screenwriting, film direction, production, and editing at East Carolina University. He lives in New York City.


"A clever approach to screenwriting."
--Library Journal

"Makes the precepts accessible with easy comparisons to contemporary hits."

"Screenwriters looking beyond the ‘three-act structure’ mantra will find applicable strategies, and those who dismiss Aristotle as old hat will find their perceptions set straight with Tierno’s modern movie examples."
--Publishers Weekly

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User Review  - ebnelson - LibraryThing

Great little book that not only helps in writing and film analysis, but thanks to Dan Miller's musings in A Million Miles and/or Stranger Than Fiction, it's got great advice for life--because "the ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Michael Tierno is an award-winning writer/director of feature films, including the independent film Auditions. He is a story analyst for Miramax Films and teaches screenwriting seminars nationwide. He lives in New York City.

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