Amid the hundreds of "how-to" books that have appeared in recent years, there have been very few which attempted to analyze the mysteries of play-construction. This book does that -- and its principles are so valid that they apply equally well to the short story, novel and screenplay. Lajos Egri examines a play from the inside out, starting with the heart of any drama: its characters. For it is people -- their private natures and their inter-relationships -- that move a story and give it life. All good dramatic writing depends upon an understanding of human motives. Why do people act as they do? What forces transform a coward into a hero, a hero into a coward? What is it that Romeo does early in Shakespeare's play that makes his later suicide seem inevitable? Why must Nora leave her husband at the end of A Doll's House? These are a few of the fascinating problems which Egri analyzes. He shows how it is essential for the author to have a basic premise -- a thesis, demonstrated in terms of human behavior -- and to develop his dramatic conflict on the basis of that behavior. Premise, character, conflict: this is Egri's ABC. His book is a direct, jargon-free approach to the problem of achieving truth in a literary creation.
The Art of Dramatic Writing is a concise guide to all forms of creative writing, from premise to characters to plot.
In this work, Lajos Egri examines a play from the inside out, starting with the heart of any drama: its characters. For it is people - their private natures and their inter-relationships - that move a story and give it life.
'Every type of creative writing depends upon the credibility of a character.' This fundamental observation serves as the basis of Lajos Egri's book. In it he offers a step by step guide for the development of fiction, plays, & TV & radio scripts. He shows how to probe the secrets of human motivation to define flesh-&-blood characters who create suspense & conflcit & who grow emotionally under stress & strain Engri is the author of THE ART OF DRAMATIC WRITING, YOUR KEY TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING, the first of which has been translated into 17 languages.
Playwriting Seminars is "a treasure-trove of information, philosophy, and inspiration" (Theatre Journal), "an absolutely essential guide to all aspects of playwriting and a valuable whitewater raft trip down the rapids of Hollywood screenwriting" (Magellan), and "a terrific learning environment for writers" (WebCrawler Select). It was also a recommended resource for playwrights at New Dramatists (NYC). The Handbook's initial concepts came from the author's work with Lucasfilm and the BBC. It was originally developed for playwrights and screenwriters, but has since been used by writers of fiction and nonfiction books. This new edition covers all aspects of writing full-length plays with an expanded treatment of screenwriting for Hollywood and independent film as well as diagrams of key elements of dramatic structure. Playwriting techniques are explained with many examples from classic and contemporary plays performed today by America's regional theatres as well as on Broadway and Off-Broadway. The 392 page Handbook explains the interconnections between characters and plot and the importance of subtext to character development in the contemporary theatre (what characters don't tell us matters as much as what they say in dialogue). Key exercises are included for developing "voice" as a writer and for creating the essential dual plot structure that supports intriguing characters in today's theatre. Many professionals in theatre and film are quoted on key parts of the art and craft of playwriting and screenwriting to help explain effective techniques. Special sections of the Handbook focus on getting inspiration and avoiding writer's block, editing first drafts, professional script formats for theatre and film (including software), how to launch new scripts, putting together submission packages for theatres and competitions, how to write an effective script synopsis and writer's bio, working with directors, actors and agents, how to survive audience "talkbacks" following readings and workshop productions, methods to adjust your playwriting skills for screenwriting and television work, and options for making a living at the craft of dramatic writing.
The purpose of theater, like magic, like religion . . . is to inspire cleansing awe. What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet, one of our greatest living playwrights, tackles these questions with bracing directness and aphoristic authority. He believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today’s weather to next year’s elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater. With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright’s art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.
Author: Syd Field
From concept to character, from opening scene to finished script.. Here are easily understood guidelines to make film-writing accessible to novices and to help practiced writers improve their scripts. Syd Field pinpoints the structural and stylistic elements essential to every good screenplay. He presents a step-by-step, comprehensive technique for writing the script that will succeed. •Why are the first ten pages of your script crucially important? •How do you collaborate successfully with someone else? •How do you adapt a novel, a play, or an article into a screenplay? •How do you market your script? From the Trade Paperback edition.
(LARGE PRINT EDITION) This book is a facsimile reprint and may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages.
For decades writers have competed to enroll in the legendary Master classes led by Janet Neipris at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and across the globe. Several generations of playwrights, screenwriters, and television writers have been inspired and educated by her. Her newest book provides the next best thing to studying with her around the seminar table. It’s wise, engaging, focused. The fourteen chapters, organized like a semester, guide the writer week-by-week and step-by-step to the completion of a first draft and a rewrite. There are Weekly Exercises and progressive Assignments. Chapters include Beginnings, Creating Complex Characters, Dialogue, Escalating Conflicts, Endings, Checkpoints, Comedy, and Adaptation. For professional writers, teachers, and students, as well as anyone who want to complete their first piece. What’s important is that you will finish. Janet will be guiding you to The End. An award winning playwright and Professor of Dramatic Writing at NYU, Janet Neipris has written for Screen and Television. She has also taught dramatic writers at UCLA and in China, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Italy, and in the UK at Oxford, CSSD, University of Birmingham, and the University of East Anglia. Previous publications include To Be A Playwright (Routledge 2006). Janet Neipris’s plays and letters are in the Theatre Collection of Harvard University’s Houghton Library.
Writing for the Screen
Author: Craig Batty, Zara Waldeback
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
This fresh approach to scriptwriting, innovative in style and approach, incorporates both creativity and critical appraisal as essential methods in writing for the screen. Contemporary case studies, in-depth analyses and interactive exercises create a wealth of ideas for those wishing to work in the industry or deepen their study of the practice.
The idea of Into the Woods is not to supplant works by Aristotle, Lajos Egri, Robert McKee, David Mamet, or any other writers of guides for screenwriters and playwrights, but to pick up on their cues and take the reader on a historical, philosophical, scientific, and psychological journey to the heart of all storytelling. In this exciting and wholly original book, John Yorke not only shows that there is truly a unifying shape to narrative—one that echoes the great fairytale journey into the woods, and one, like any great art, that comes from deep within—he explains why, too. With examples ranging from The Godfather to True Detective, Mad Men to Macbeth, and fairy tales to Forbrydelsen (The Killing), Yorke utilizes Shakespearean five-act structure as a key to analyzing all storytelling in all narrative forms, from film and television to theatre and novel-writing—a big step from the usual three-act approach. Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story is destined to sit alongside David Mamet’s Three Uses of the Knife, Robert McKee’s Story, Syd Field’s Screenplay, and Lajos Egri’s The Art of Dramatic Writing as one of the most original, useful, and inspiring books ever on dramatic writing.
An insightful how-to guide for writing screenplays that uses Aristotle's great work as a guide. Long considered the bible for storytellers, Aristotle's Poetics is a fixture of college courses on everything from fiction writing to dramatic theory. Now Michael Tierno shows how this great work can be an invaluable resource to screenwriters or anyone interested in studying plot structure. In carefully organized chapters, Tierno breaks down the fundamentals of screenwriting, highlighting particular aspects of Aristotle's work. Then, using examples from some of the best movies ever made, he demonstrates how to apply these ancient insights to modern-day screenwriting. This user-friendly guide covers a multitude of topics, from plotting and subplotting to dialogue and dramatic unity. Writing in a highly readable, informal tone, Tierno makes Aristotle's monumental work accessible to beginners and pros alike in areas such as screenwriting, film theory, fiction, and playwriting.
Author: Robert Mckee
The long-awaited follow-up to the perennially bestselling writers' guide Story, from the most sought-after expert in the art of storytelling. Robert McKee's popular writing workshops have earned him an international reputation. The list of alumni with Oscars runs off the page. The cornerstone of his program is his singular book, Story, which has defined how we talk about the art of story creation. Now, in DIALOGUE, McKee offers the same in-depth analysis for how characters speak on the screen, on the stage, and on the page in believable and engaging ways. From Macbeth to Breaking Bad, McKee deconstructs key scenes to illustrate the strategies and techniques of dialogue. DIALOGUE applies a framework of incisive thinking to instruct the prospective writer on how to craft artful, impactful speech. Famous McKee alumni include Peter Jackson, Jane Campion, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Haggis, the writing team for Pixar, and many others.
Author: Paul Gulino
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
The great challenge in writing a feature-length screenplay is sustaining audience involvement from page one through 120. Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach expounds on an often-overlooked tool that can be key in solving this problem. A screenplay can be understood as being built of sequences of about fifteen pages each, and by focusing on solving the dramatic aspects of each of these sequences in detail, a writer can more easily conquer the challenges posed by the script as a whole. The sequence approach has its foundation in early Hollywood cinema (until the 1950s, most screenplays were formatted with sequences explicitly identified), and has been rediscovered and used effectively at such film schools as the University of Southern California, Columbia University and Chapman University. This book exposes a wide audience to the approach for the first time, introducing the concept then providing a sequence analysis of eleven significant feature films made between 1940 and 2000: The Shop Around The Corner / Double Indemnity / Nights of Cabiria / North By Northwest / Lawrence of Arabia / The Graduate / One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Toy Story / Air Force One / Being John Malkovich / The Fellowship of the Ring