The Dramatic Writer's Companion: Tools to Develop Characters, Cause Scenes, and Build Stories (Paperback)

The Dramatic Writer's Companion: Tools to Develop Characters, Cause Scenes, and Build Stories Cover Image
Email or call for price


Moss Hart once said that you never really learn how to write a play; you only learn how to write this play. Crafted with that adage in mind, The Dramatic Writer's Companion is designed to help writers explore their own ideas in order to develop the script in front of them. No ordinary guide to plotting, this handbook starts with the principle that character is key. "The character is not something added to the scene or to the story," writes author Will Dunne. "Rather, the character is the scene. The character is the story."

Having spent decades working with dramatists to refine and expand their existing plays and screenplays, Dunne effortlessly blends condensed dramatic theory with specific action steps-over sixty workshop-tested exercises that can be adapted to virtually any individual writing process and dramatic script. Dunne's in-depth method is both instinctual and intellectual, allowing writers to discover new actions for their characters and new directions for their stories.

Dunne's own experience is a crucial element of this guide. His plays have been selected by the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center for three U.S. National Playwrights Conferences and have earned numerous honors, including a Charles MacArthur Fellowship, four Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, and two Drama-Logue Playwriting Awards. Thousands of individuals have already benefited from his workshops, and The Dramatic Writer's Companion promises to bring his remarkable creative method to an even wider audience.

About the Author

Will Dunne is currently a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where he develops plays and teaches workshops. He also has led over fifteen hundred workshops through his San Francisco program, served as a dramaturg at the O Neill, and twice attended the Australian National Playwrights Conference as guest instructor. His plays, which include "How I Became an Interesting Person" and "Hotel Desperado," have been presented in Russia, Australia, and Croatia as well as in the U.S."
Product Details
ISBN: 9780226172545
ISBN-10: 0226172546
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: April 1st, 2009
Pages: 318
Language: English
Series: Chicago Guides to Writing