- Mass Market Paperback: 332 pages
- Publisher: BN Publishing (February 21, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9562915867
- ISBN-13: 978-9562915861
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 143 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Art Of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives
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Learn the basic techniques every successful playwright knows
Among the many "how-to" playwriting books that have appeared over the years, there have been few that attempt to analyze the mysteries of play construction. Lajos Egri's classic, The Art of Dramatic Writing, does just that, with instruction that can be applied equally well to a short story, novel, or screenplay.
Examining a play from the inside out, Egri starts with the heart of any drama: its characters. All good dramatic writing hinges on people and their relationships, which serve to move the story forward and give it life, as well as an understanding of human motives -- why people act the way that they do. Using examples from everything from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Egri shows how it is essential for the author to have a basic premise -- a thesis, demonstrated in terms of human behavior -- and to develop the dramatic conflict on the basis of that behavior.
Using Egri's ABCs of premise, character, and conflict, The Art of Dramatic Writing is a direct, jargon-free approach to the problem of achieving truth in writing.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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The table of contents is not marked, and the headnote title of the chapter (on each page) is found halfway down the page or even inserted into a random sentence in the actual text.
It is really mind-blowing how badly this text is formatted. I mean did anyone think to check before this book was offered for sale?
It looks like whoever was responsible for making the Kindle edition was looking for an exercise to keep his five year old daughter quiet and came up with the brilliant idea of having her transcribe Egri onto a malfunctioning Blackberry and then submitted that to Amazon without bothering to proofread it.
I am only at the beginning of the first chapter and have eye fatigue. Really sad.
One of the things that makes this book a classic is its simplicity. The book start exploring how you as a dramatic writer can use Premise as the guiding sign through out the whole process of writing a story.
Once you have a premise you can work on creating your characters (using the premise to do that). To do this you'll have to know your character's physiology, sociology, pshychology, etc.
Once you have your characters you can work on creating the story using the principle of contradiction, thesis, antithesis and synthesis. You'll have to use clashing forces... (again, you use the premise as explained at the beginning of the book).
Then the author covers some of the most important elements in writing dramatic material of quality.
In my case I found the chapter of "Jumping" quite enlightening. Once you read this chapter you'll understand why many, many stories just don't work. The characters jump and then... they fall to their death... and to the apaty of the audience.
What is it that I like about this book? Well, I read it... time passes... come back to it again... time passes... and I come back again to read it!
Where as most books make you feel like writing is extremely difficult, this one always makes me feel like I'm in command and that great story telling is within my grasp.