Wednesday, 26 August 2020


Promising infinite variation on a theme, this manual and style guide from a century ago, Wycliff Aber Hill’s Ten Million Photoplay Plots, is an interesting exploration of the possible taxons—thirty-seven according to the author—that arise out of the adage attributed to Leo Tolstoy, that great literature is one of two stories: “a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town”—which indeed smacks of one and the same tale told from different perspectives. Will’s parcing and analysis cross-references a collection of basic dramatic situations, happy ones, pathetic ones that aspiring screenwriters (relatedly) can assay in a modular, formulaic manner and add twists and complications, including (36) To kill a kinsman or a friend before recognition. More to explore from Open Culture at the link up top.