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The Playwright's Process: Learning the Craft…
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The Playwright's Process: Learning the Craft from Today's Leading…

by Buzz McLaughlin

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CCB (1) crafts (1) drama (4) guide (1) hhe (1) HPRW (1) mck (1) McLaughlin (1) non-fiction (4) plays (2) playwrights (2) playwriting (6) read (1) read (complete) (1) script (1) textbooks (1) thea (1) theatre (5) unread (1) writing (1) writing advice (1) writing process (1) x (1)
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Amazon: ...It's worth talking about premise, since the matter is so controversial among playwriting texts. There are two points of view on the subject: premise is central to a good play, and theme arises from the play and should not be put first. Essentially, those who place premise first are realists, and tend to write plays in the realist vein. If you want to write realist plays, this book works well as a supplement for Egri's Art of Dramatic Writing; it is not a functional substitute. If you don't, you should head to other texts, because this one is quite openly biased.
Still, McLaughlin has a couple of good points of view in the book for any playwright. His chapter on ideas is one of the better ones out there; if you need help on that area, this book might be worth it on that alone. And his chapter on practical issues in playwriting is solid, if not perfect, but this advice would be available in books that will be more amenable to your style.

If you agree with the realists that premise should be central, buy this and Egri. Use Egri for your dramatic theory, and McLaughlin for your practical writing. If not, look for another text.
  mmckay | May 16, 2006 |
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