The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives
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.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Hagelstein - LibraryThing
Egri describes premise, character, and conflict as the essential elements - and the heart - of any play. He espouses an approach to play-writing “based on the natural law of dialectics” rather than ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Davidgnp - LibraryThing
A classic which I have come to late (both for it and for me). Of course, reading in the 21st century, you have to make some allowances for a text that was first published in the 1940s - I found the ... Read full review
The Bone Structure
The Dialectical Approach
Strength of Will in a Character
Crisis Climax Resolution
The Timeliness of a Play
Entrances and Exits
Plot or CharacterWhich?
Characters Plotting Their Own Play
Unity of Opposites
Cause and Effect
Point of Attack
Why Are Some Bad Plays Successful?
What Is Art?A Dialogue
When You Write a Play
How to Get Ideas
Writing for Television