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Playwriting: Writing Producing and Selling Your Play Paperback – July, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0881335644 ISBN-10: 0881335649 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc; Reprint edition (July 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881335649
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881335644
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #661,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . it makes for compelling reading and, once begun, is difficult to put aside. Paradoxically, Catron's is also a book which the reader will also, we believe, quickly but temporarily set aside in order to capture immediately on paper some new idea or rediscovered technique inspired by Catron's amiable and often eloquent prose. In our opinion, this is a book that avoids the pitfalls and embraces the triumphs of every other work currently available on the subject of playwriting and should be held as essential reading in the eyes of dramatists of all levels of their careers." -- The Playwright's Companion, 1988

From the Publisher

Also by Louis Catron and available from Waveland Press: The Director's Vision: Play Direction from Analysis to Production (ISBN 9781577666769); The Elements of Playwriting (ISBN 9781577662273); and The Power of One: The Solo Play for Playwrights, Actors, and Directors (ISBN 9781577666202). Title of related interest also available from Waveland Press: McCloskey, Economical Writing, Second Edition (ISBN 9781577660637).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book has withstood the test of time. I think I was one of the first to buy it when it came out in a Prentice-Hill hardcover, and it still is the first book I urge playwrights to get. The author is a first-class teacher who knows precisely what playwrights need to learn, in what order, to write the first play or revise the 100th. The only thing better than studying this book would be to take his course. I wish I had because I hear Catron's class is excellent. Free of jargon, definite in its clarity of what is stageworthy, its best feature is it makes you write. The chapter on "credo" is alone worth the price of admission. Great for a playwriting class--I always use it in my workshops--and great for do-it-yourself at home. (And I haven't "raved" like this over anything since the premiere of "My Fair Lady"!)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Some years ago I was assigned this playwriting book at, of all places, a film school. The instructor said the book would teach us form and especially dialog. I still have that copy, dog-earned, worn, underlined and with a broken spine, a close friend that I could never replace. It guided me into a television writing career, helped me with writing movies and was there to give me assistance when I wrote my first plays. The chapter on "credo" ought be read by every writer. It asks "How can you write if you do not know what you believe?" A magic key! And it tells you how to discover what you believe and use that to write. When I started learning writing, I used to rebel against the author's firm use of Aristotle. Not any more. He's got it right and he modifies the Big A so it makes perfect pragmatic sense. This is one of the 5 books I recommend to those beginning writers who ask me for advice. A classic, this, I do believe.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many people who aspire to be working writers, I've sunk a lot of money into books intended to make me better at my desired field. Maybe you have, too. If you have, you know there are three things no writing book will ever give you.
1. Inspiration
2. Discipline
3. Connections
This book is no exception. You'll be sorely disappointed if you go in search of any of these golden rings using this book as your guide. If you think this, or any, book will provide any of these things for you, give up now, go get a real job, make room in the field for the chosen and called.
You will not be able to read this book and crank out a production-level script cold. But if you dedicate your time to practicing the exercises Catron provides; if you try, try again; if you pursue his advice and keep this book close at hand all the way through the production process, you should do just fine.
Catron offers a breakdown of play elements based on Aristotle, he offers an overview of what literary directors are usually looking for, he even offers a tutorial in formatting your script so an otherwise sterling piece doesn't get thrown aside too soon for being improperly constructed. If you have a gift for writing theatre, and a burning desire that causes you to spend enough time in writing every day to develop and maintain your skills, this book will bridge the gap between that and being ready for production.
This book won't provide any magic bullets. You have to want to write, and you have to want to work at it. If you really, really want to be a playwright, and you're really, really willing to work at it, get this book before any other. Then buckle down and START WRITING!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sally Atman (ksoze@mindspring.com) on March 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I remain firmly in agreement with my good friends, who wrote the critique below. The very best of Catron's texts, this book inspires immediate enthusiasm and, therefore, interaction with the author. I'll hang onto my original hardcover copy until it turns to dust, and continue to use it while both writing and teaching. An inspired text!
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I didn't think you could learn playwriting from a book. "A book is going to give rules, but I'm so different I make my own," I thought. Wrong-o! Now that I finally took advice and read this book I wish I had not been so stubborn and wasted all that time. It's like I had been wandering in a huge forest and then along comes this book to be guide and compass and map and path finder. Now, finally, I see what directors meant when they said those early plays needed a stronger sense of theater. I've just had my first production and this book was a major player in getting me there. This is my first "thank you note" to its author.
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