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Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives

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Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives Cover

 

Staff Pick

If you begged me to give you the title of one "how-to" book on the topic of screenwriting and wouldn't give up until I told you, then it would have to be this classic introduction to the craft. Often used as a textbook in screenwriting classes, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing gives writers the focus needed to attack a scene and create memorable character arcs. Another reason to recommend this book to young screenwriters is that it references many of the important dramas that may have been overlooked in high school, such as works by Ibsen, Moliere, and Synge.
Recommended by Tavis, Powells.com

If you begged me to give you the title of one "how-to" book on the topic of screenwriting and wouldn't give up until I told you, then it would have to be this classic introduction to the craft. Often used as a textbook in screenwriting classes, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing gives writers the focus needed to attack a scene and create memorable character arcs. Another reason to recommend this book to young screenwriters is that it references many of the important dramas that may have been overlooked in high school, such as works by Ibsen, Moliere, and Synge.
Recommended by Tavis, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"I found Lajos Egri's book enormously interesting — one of the best I have ever read." Moss Hart

Synopsis:

The author offers an approach to playwriting based on the natural law of dialectics.

About the Author

Lajos Egri was born some sixty years ago in the city of Eger, Hungary, and wrote his first three-act play at the age of ten. For more than thirty-five years he has written and directed plays in Europe and the United States. He was director of the Egri School of Writing in New York City for many years. He now resides in Los Angeles, California, where he is teaching and working with members of the film industry.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

FOREWORD

PREFACE

I PREMISE

II CHARACTER

1. The Bone Structure

2. Environment

3. The Dialectical Approach

4. Character Growth

5. Strength of Will in a Character

6. Plot or Character — Which?

7. Characters Plotting Their Own Play

8. Pivotal Character

9. The Antagonist

10. Orchestration

11. Unity of Opposites

III CONFLICT

1. Origin of Action

2. Cause and Effect

3. Static

4. Jumping

5. Rising

6. Movement

7. Foreshadowing Conflict

8. Point of Attack

9. Transition

10. Crisis, Climax, Resolution

IV GENERAL

1. Obligatory Scene

2. Exposition

3. Dialogue

4. Experimentation

5. The Timeliness of a Play

6. Entrances and Exits

7. Why Are Some Bad Plays Successful?

8. Melodrama

9. On Genius

10. What Is Art? — A Dialogue

11. When You Write a Play

12. How to Get Ideas

13. Writing for Television

14. Conclusion

APPENDIX A. Plays Analyzed

APPENDIX B. How to Market Your Play

APPENDIX C. Long Runs on Broadway

INDEX

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Luckydee, February 29, 2008 (view all comments by Luckydee)
I am doing script writing course, I clearly understand the premise of these book is well set. I like its root idea. The book's central idea is great. Well done Egri
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)
amiraeesh, August 18, 2007 (view all comments by amiraeesh)
I have found ths article to be most useful out of all literature on dramatic writing that I have gone through
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780671213329
Author:
Egri, Lajos
Publisher:
Touchstone Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Playwriting
Subject:
Drama
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing
Subject:
Performing arts
Subject:
Publishing
Subject:
Creative writing
Subject:
Theater - Playwriting
Subject:
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Subject:
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Subject:
REFERENCE / Publishing
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Newly rev. ed.
Edition Description:
B102
Series:
A Touchstone book
Series Volume:
v. 17
Publication Date:
November 1977
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 10.08 oz
Age Level:
General Language Arts & Disciplines

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Directing and Production
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » General
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Playwriting
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » General
Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » Screenwriting
Arts and Entertainment » Sale Books
Engineering » Communications » TV and Radio Production
Reference » General
Reference » Publishing
Reference » Writing » General
Reference » Writing » Plays
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Touchstone Books - English 9780671213329 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If you begged me to give you the title of one "how-to" book on the topic of screenwriting and wouldn't give up until I told you, then it would have to be this classic introduction to the craft. Often used as a textbook in screenwriting classes, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing gives writers the focus needed to attack a scene and create memorable character arcs. Another reason to recommend this book to young screenwriters is that it references many of the important dramas that may have been overlooked in high school, such as works by Ibsen, Moliere, and Synge.

"Staff Pick" by ,

If you begged me to give you the title of one "how-to" book on the topic of screenwriting and wouldn't give up until I told you, then it would have to be this classic introduction to the craft. Often used as a textbook in screenwriting classes, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing gives writers the focus needed to attack a scene and create memorable character arcs. Another reason to recommend this book to young screenwriters is that it references many of the important dramas that may have been overlooked in high school, such as works by Ibsen, Moliere, and Synge.

"Review" by , "I found Lajos Egri's book enormously interesting — one of the best I have ever read."
"Synopsis" by , The author offers an approach to playwriting based on the natural law of dialectics.
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