Before the novel, there was drama... Ancient dramatists understood the requirements of a good tale, one in which willful human beings engaged in major conflict, the goal being to possess or achieve something of value. A designated character, by virtue of position and personality, became the antagonist, naturally defying the efforts of the protagonist, or hero, to overcome. This basic conflict scenario resurfaces again and again in a myriad of forms, not only in life, but in novels, short stories, and of course, film and television. What makes true dramatic conflict so universally effective is not only its ability to create tension, suspense, and powerful characters, but its unique method for portraying the need for value in human existence. Below we've created a drama primer with quotes ("European Theories of the Drama") from three important dramatists to illustrate the nature of the drama and it's overwhelming relevancy to novel writing discussion here at WE.