This book was recommended to me by an actor who I met when I first moved to Los Angeles. I was standing in line at a bank one day when I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of me. He was an actor and writer who had been living in Hollywood for more than 50 years. He had lots of wisdom to impart including recommending that I read Lajos Egri’s The Art of Dramatic Writing.
The book was written a long time ago and it was specifically geared towards playwriting. All drama whether a play or a film is rooted in the same fundamentals and this book covers the fundamentals of drama like no other book I’ve ever read.
This book is an excellent compliment to Syd Field’s Screenplay. While Field is all about screenplay structure, Egri is all about character and the character driven story. All great drama revolves around a great character and Egri gives you lots of help developing solid characters.
Whenever I begin a new project I like to go back and read certain portions of this book to make sure that my new project is headed in the right direction. For instance, Egri has a great way of describing the dramatic premise – which isn’t a logline – but helps a writer focus on the main conflict in their story. I always like to figure out what my “Egri Premise” is before I begin writing a new script.
If you haven’t read The Art of Dramatic Writing I highly recommend that you do. You can purchase The Art of Dramatic Writing from Amazon.com by clicking here.