Cover image for The playwright's guidebook / Stuart Spencer.
The playwright's guidebook / Stuart Spencer.
The playwright's guidebook / Stuart Spencer.
Personal Author:
1st ed.
New York : Faber and Faber, Inc., 2002.
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Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction: how we tell stories -- Part One. Structure. Prologue. The tools. What is structure? -- Action -- Exercise I: the action scene -- Motivation and subtext -- Conflict -- Exercise 2: the conflict scene -- High stakes and high hopes -- Event -- Exercise 3: The event scene -- Beats, scenes, acts -- Exercise 4: the beat scene -- Part Two: the creative process -- Prologue. Dramatic elements -- Theater and drama -- Exercise 5 -- The impulse -- Exercise 6: writing from an image -- Character -- Exercise 7. The journey of the play -- Exercise 8. Part Three: dealing with problems -- Rewriting -- Exercise 9. Exposition -- Exercise 10 -- When all else fails -- (Things to try when you're stuck) -- Part Four: some advice -- General advice -- Exercise 11 -- Practical advice.

Part Five: appendixes.
"During the more than ten years that Stuart Spencer has taught playwriting, he has struggled to find an effective handbook for his courses. Although most of the currently popular guides contain useful ideas, they all suffer from the same problems: poor organization; quirky, idiosyncratic advice; and abstract theorizing on the nature of art. As a result, they fail to offer any concrete information or useful guidelines on how to construct a well-written play. Moreover, few of these books are actually written by working playwrights. Out of frustration, Spencer wrote his own. The result, The Playwright's Guidebook, is a concise and engaging handbook full of the kind of wisdom that comes naturally with experience. Spencer presents a coherent way of thinking about playwriting that addresses the important principles of structure, includes insightful writing exercises that build upon one another, explores the creative process, and trouble-shoots recurrent problems that playwrights actually face."--BOOK JACKET.
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