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.
I’ll be posting giveaway books throughout the day each day this week. If you’re interested in this book, leave a comment below. I’ll draw all of this week’s winners on Sunday, July 3, 2011 and post them that day. You will need to check back and send me your mailing address by Sunday, July 10, 2011 CDT if you are one of the winners.