The Art Of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri



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  • The Art Of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri

    I've read this book many times and think it's the best book out there on writing in the three act structure. Anybody else lucky enough to read it?

  • #2


    • #3
      This was one of the very first books I bought when I decided to write a screenplay. Sadly, I only got half way through it before I lost it moving. It's killing me not knowing how it ended! ;-)


      • #4

        The good guys win.


        • #5
          I read it... although oriented toward play writing, there's great stuff about premises, about building the conflict of your scenes properly, and more.

          Can't remember much though. Hopefully it's stored in my subconscious.


          • #6
            <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--> ...although oriented toward play writing...<!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->

            I think that's a big part of the appeal. Since we're talking about drama, a lot of elements of drama have been developed with respect to theater (like Aristotle's <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--> Poetics<!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->). I think that's the kind of knowledge of the craft that people talk most about. After all, none of the real nuts and bolts of screenwriting (beyond script formatting) began with the invention of the movie camera. People have been telling stories for thousands of years and that's what we're all about.


            • #7
              That's a good point. It's about drama, whether in play or screenplay form.


              • #8
                What's interesting is how many of Egri's character-development tools have become so widely known that no one even knows that they began with him (if, in fact, they did). I'm thinking of his checklist of traits for characters, divided into 3 parts: Physical, Mental, and Emotional. I had seen that a dozen times before I read his book.

                I don't think you need to worry about whether you remember his points or not. In a way, I'm sure you do, whether you're aware of it or not.


                • #9
                  My screenwriting teacher said it was the best thing he got from USC.

                  He disagrees with Egri about character being the only seed a story grows from. A lot of people see a fantastic sequence...

                  The Art Of Dramatic Writing is an easy and palatable read.


                  • #10
                    Nika, I would agree with your friend. I think that characters can grow out of a story. This is the only thing that I disagree about. There are also a couple of sections in the book that are thin but everything else in this book is gold.

                    The main reason the book is so great is because it allows you a totally different look at writing. All those screenwriting books out there pretty much say the same thing because they're derivative of one another in some way. This book talks about things you don't find in those other books and that's why it's so great.