A Masterclass in Dramatic Writing

A Masterclass in Dramatic Writing : Theater, Film, and Television

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For decades writers have competed to enroll in the legendary Master classes led by Janet Neipris at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and across the globe. Several generations of playwrights, screenwriters, and television writers have been inspired and educated by her. Her newest book provides the next best thing to studying with her around the seminar table. It's wise, engaging, focused.

The fourteen chapters, organized like a semester, guide the writer week-by-week and step-by-step to the completion of a first draft and a rewrite. There are Weekly Exercises and progressive Assignments. Chapters include Beginnings, Creating Complex Characters, Dialogue, Escalating Conflicts, Endings, Checkpoints, Comedy, and Adaptation. For professional writers, teachers, and students, as well as anyone who want to complete their first piece. What's important is that you will finish. Janet will be guiding you to The End.

An award winning playwright and Professor of Dramatic Writing at NYU, Janet Neipris has written for Screen and Television. She has also taught dramatic writers at UCLA and in China, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa, Italy, and in the UK at Oxford, CSSD, University of Birmingham, and the University of East Anglia. Previous publications include To Be A Playwright (Routledge 2006). Janet Neipris's plays and letters are in the Theatre Collection of Harvard University's Houghton Library.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 17.78mm | 363g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 2nd New edition
  • 1138918520
  • 9781138918528

Table of contents

Preface: The Moral Responsibility of the Artist

Introduction: The Writer's Life

Week 1: Beginnings

Week 2: Creating Complex Characters

Week 3: Dialogue

Week 4: Escalating Conflicts

Week 5: Sixty Questions When Writing a Dramatic Piece

Week 6: Putting it all Together

Week 7: Endings

Week 8: Checkpoints

Week 9: Rewriting

Week 10: Adaptation

Week 11: Comedy

Week 12: The Fifteen Habits of Successful Dramatic Writers

Week 13: Lessons from Master Teachers and Students

Week 14: To Be a Writer
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Review quote

"An award-winning playwright, Neipris adds five new chapters to the earlier edition along with concrete examples from classic works and from her own writing. The book's organization parallels a one-semester, 14-week course, providing exercises and assignments that leave readers with a first draft or rewrite. Neipris demonstrates her vulnerability, sharing the experience she has gained writing and teaching. In contrast to other playwriting texts-for example, NoeÌ l Greig's Playwriting: A Practical Guide (2005), which is less personal, and Playwriting Master Class: The Personality of Process and the Art of Rewriting, ed. by Michael Wright (2000), which collects essays from various playwrights-Neipris's Masterclass brings readers right into her writing room."

- C. Cox, University of Northern Iowa in CHOICE
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