Aristotle rocks because he’s a rock?

Aristotle’s Essential Characters

For writers beginning to Think / Pro, converting from a hobby writer to a professional writer, Aristotle seems like a wrong turn.  Especially when we’re looking at the Essentials of Characters.

Geez, what could he possibly know?  I mean, look at him.  He’s a bust.

I thought this way, too–once.

I mean, Aristotle is over two thousand years OLD.  Really OLD.  Decrepit.

What on earth can someone so OLD tell me about story?

I grew up with movies and TV.  I have computers.  And I drive a car.  He had a banging chariot and scratched on something called parchment.  He didn’t even have good paper and ink.

Continue reading “Think / Pro: Aristotle’s Essential Characters”

Think / Pro: Aristotle’s 5 Essentials

Aristotle, the famous Greek philosopher, has 5 Essentials for every story.

Now, when he claimed these 5 make for great literature, he was looking at famous dramas of ancient Greece.  And he was right.

These 5 Essentials are revelatory for characters.  While we can view the 5 as plot elements, they are actually plot requirements that open up the characters to the audience.

Continue reading “Think / Pro: Aristotle’s 5 Essentials”

 Think Like a Pro:  New Advent for Writers

Advice for the Week:  Looking for the Essentials?  Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel.  Learn from those who have gone before.

Who’s gone before?  Aristotle.  An ancient geeky Greek philosopher.  Aristotle rocks for writers struggling with character.

This week we start looking at 5 + 5 Essentials for Characters that the ancient Greek Aristotle first offered.

 

 

Purchase here!

 

 

 

Old Geeky Greeks:  

Write Stories using Ancient Techniques

Here’s a List for You ~

Blood tragedies.

public domain image, sketch may be viewed at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Perseus displaying Medusa’s head: sketch by John Singer Sargent for his 1902 sculpture

Atonement.

I, Robot.

Harry Potter.

Ironman.

Hubris.

The 13th Warrior.

The scariest woman in all literature.

The Hobbit.

Dudley Dooright.

5 Stages of the Hero . . . and the Monster.

Jurassic Park, in all its iterations.

What do the items in this oddly-matched list have in common?

These stories all have origins with the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Sitting around fires after a day of hunting and gathering, the first writers developed techniques to influence their audiences. 

Those techniques have thousands of years of use and still hold true for capturing audiences.

The ancient Greeks (and Romans) of classical antiquity viewed the stories and dramas that were enduring.  And just like writers today, they searched and defined and classified the best techniques to create writings that pleased their audiences.

These old geeky Greeks laid the foundations.  Many of their techniques are still in use. Ideas original to them are re-packaged as glittery infographics and Wham-Pow webinars and three-point seminars with exclusive insights to Buy Now!

Clear and Quick Information

Old Geeky Greeks: Write Stories with Ancient Techinques presents such ideas as the Blood Tragedy and dulce etutile in a clear, organized method for writers who want to write rather than invest hours getting three snippets of information.

Chapters in OGG cover understanding characters to the five stages that established the modern protagonist from the ancient hero.  Aristotle’s requirements for plot precede a survey of the oldest plot formula, the Blood (or Revenge) Tragedy.  Concepts such as in medias res and dulce et utile can help writers solve sticky problems and develop new ideas.

Old Geeky Greeks (and Romans) looked at successful plays and other story-telling methods to determine what influenced the audience.

  • Which characters were still talked about weeks and months after a performance?
  • Which play structures failed—and which were consistently winners?
  • And which ideas helped writers develop their celebrated writings?
Writers today are still searching for the answers to these questions.

The bright minds of Classical Antiquity first explored these questions.  Their answers are applicable even in the age of the internet, open-source software, special effects, and infographics.

Aristotle, Seneca, Plato, Horace, and many other ancient geeks have their ideas matched to Harry Potter, Avatar, Last of the Mohicans, and Shakespeare.

Whether we’re writing novels or plays, blogs or non-fiction, poems and songs, Old Geeky Greeks (written by M.A. Lee and Emily R. Dunn) is a seminar in 28,000 words, just published on Amazon Kindle.

Buy it here!

John Singer Sargent’s sketch for his sculpture of Perseus

with Medusa’s head, provides the cover art for OGG.