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

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9780671213329: The Art Of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives

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.

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Review:

For many years, Lajos Egri's highly opinionated but very enjoyable The Art of Dramatic Writing has been a well-guarded secret of playwrights, scriptwriters, and writers for television. Unlike many other books on playwrighting (several of which Egri criticizes during the course of this one), the author's systematic breakdown of the essentials for creating successful realistic plays and screenplays effectively demystifies the process of creative writing. Egri, who formulated his thoughts about "a well-made play" during its heyday (the 1940s and '50s), places a premium on an exhaustive analysis of characters and discussion of their psychological motivations. The writer is exhorted to find a premise to explore and to discover which characters will most effectively demonstrate this thesis, then is shown how most effectively to place them into conflict with each other. Conflict itself is also discussed, particularly how to create scenarios in which the crisis develops at a pace that feels unforced and natural. While Egri's view of the well-made play has little space for either the spare musings of Beckett and Pinter or the conscious excesses of non-narrative and other experimental writing, it nonetheless remains an essential text for writers drawn to realistic drama, and to any writer interested in the fundamental motivations of human behavior. --John Longenbaugh

About the Author:

Lajos Egri (1888-1967) was born in Hungary and founded the Egri School of Writing in New York City in the 1930s. In addition to writing books, he spent his life writing and directing plays in both the United States and Europe, as well as writing screenplays for the film industry.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 behaviour - and to develop his dramatic conflict on the basis of that behaviour. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780671213329

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 behaviour - and to develop his dramatic conflict on the basis of that behaviour. 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. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780671213329

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