chapter  4
Plot
ByAlexis Krasilovsky
Pages 6

When teaching screenwriting, instructors love using Die Hard as the great example of how to write plot. Gotham Writers' Workshop's Alexander Steele introduces Die Hard as a "classic action/adventure and a prime example of the big-budget Hollywood movie". Noah goes into great detail breaking down Die Hard to illustrate how its plot is constructed. What he leaves out, however, is how screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven de Souza arrived at each event in the script while adapting Roderick Thorp's novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, upon which Die Hard is based. In the film, McClane is a sympathetic cop; in the novel, he is a die-hard anti-terrorist by training: He had participated in the secret seminars and conferences that had developed the contingency plans of many of the nation's municipal police departments. Many screenwriting texts pay homage to Aristotle when discussing plot, such as The Screenwriter's Bible.