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Nova Poetica, or the New Poetics, is a forum for exploring and exploiting the rules of dramatic writing.

Plano’s Rich Characters are Undermined by Bait and Switch Story

Attributed to Aristotle, unity of action is one of the most established and discussed rules of playwriting. The rule states that a play should have one unifying action, or series of cause and effect events that are linked to the protagonist’s journey. The unified action should have a clear beginning, middle, and end; though, as … Continue reading Plano’s Rich Characters are Undermined by Bait and Switch Story

Palm Springs Presents Shallow Characters but Reaches Deep on Theme

Palm Springs, the Hulu original feature comedy is comfort food for audiences. The movie gives its viewers exactly what they expect: a feel-good romantic comedy in a familiar structure with a couple of surprises and a message that reinforces an optimistic view of the world. The characters in Palm Springs are the kinds of stock … Continue reading Palm Springs Presents Shallow Characters but Reaches Deep on Theme

Why Cool Hand Luke Works Despite Its Passive Protagonist

The number one rule of screenwriting, something that every writing instructor will beat into your brain, is that you cannot have a passive protagonist. Your main character must want something, and the more tangible that something, and the more actively your protagonist pursues it, the better. Alfred Hitchcock may have done more for this rule … Continue reading Why Cool Hand Luke Works Despite Its Passive Protagonist