Central Dramatic Argument

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  • Central Dramatic Argument

    Is the Central Dramatic Argument different from a thematic statement (such as "Greed contains the seeds of its own destruction.")?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Central Dramatic Argument

    Originally posted by iggy View Post
    Is the Central Dramatic Argument different from a thematic statement (such as "Greed contains the seeds of its own destruction.")?
    That depends on what your definition of Central Dramatic Argument is.

    I think we will need more information to understand where you are coming from.

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    • #3
      Re: Central Dramatic Argument

      They are not different, and we don't need more information. The central dramatic argument of the script is also referred to as the "theme." Aristotle used the word "unity" to describe this concept as well.

      I know this, because I'm pretty much the only person in the world who says "central dramatic argument" for theme, so it's basically a phrase I invented, and what I meant when I invented it is THEME.

      The reason I started saying "central dramatic argument" is precisely to help guide people toward the essence of good dramatic theme (which is to say, an assertion that can be argued) and away from the essence of bad dramatic theme (a neutral concept like "brotherhood" or "mortality").
      Last edited by Craig Mazin; 02-04-2012, 01:24 PM.

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      • #4
        Re: Central Dramatic Argument

        It seems you are very influential:

        http://books.google.es/books?id=atQi...ent%22&f=false

        http://books.google.es/books?id=_OZ1...ent%22&f=false

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        • #5
          Re: Central Dramatic Argument

          I didn't say I was the first person to chain those three words together.

          I said that I am PRETTY MUCH the only person-- as far as I know-- other than people that have read the dumb crap I write about screenwriting-- that uses that phrase to describe the theme of a movie.

          I said "pretty much" on the assumption that there might be an obscure book on theater from 1955, and one of fourteen billion screenwriting books as well, that might happen to also use that phrase once.

          Good use of the internet!

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          • #6
            Re: Central Dramatic Argument

            I was just looking if someone, somewhere, had defined "central dramatic argument" differently than "theme", before I read your reply, and found both books. Then read your reply and thought it was funny that those books used the same expression too. Maybe I should have added an emoticone:

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            • #7
              Re: Central Dramatic Argument

              ETA: no delete button?
              Last edited by BattleDolphinZero; 01-21-2012, 02:50 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                Wouldn't it be great if people focussed on the tenet of each other's arguments and debated that rather than the minutiae and pedantry?
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                • #9
                  Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                  .
                  Last edited by Craig Mazin; 02-04-2012, 01:23 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                    You got it all wrong, but anyway...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                      Originally posted by Craig Mazin View Post
                      Ummm... fill in whatever emoticon seems most appropriate.


                      (It wouldn't let me do them all.)
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                      • #12
                        Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                        I'm deleting that post because it's horrible to let good convos get trolled into oblivion. DELETE CRAIG! AND IGNORE!

                        ETA:

                        I do think that some of the conversations are awesome. And when you get a bunch of working writers, up and coming writers, and hungry writers engaged in earnest, the end result is better than a lot of what you'd get at a top film school. The dialogue swings from personal methodology to broad creative philosophy to obscure topics in one thread.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                          For your consideration:

                          Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

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                          • #14
                            Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                            Originally posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
                            I do think that some of the conversations are awesome. And when you get a bunch of working writers, up and coming writers, and hungry writers engaged in earnest, the end result is better than a lot of what you'd get at a top film school. The dialogue swings from personal methodology to broad creative philosophy to obscure topics in one thread.
                            I agree. A lot of the time, that's exactly how things work here.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Central Dramatic Argument

                              (I wonder where the O.P. heard the phrase)

                              A related phrase:
                              Thematic change. To explain the change the protag (or another character) goes through from being one type of person at the start of the story to a different type of person at the end.
                              "I am the story itself; its source, its voice, its music."
                              - Clive Barker, Galilee

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