The Playwright’s Journey


ISBN: 9781848425804
Author: By Jemma Kennedy
Publication Date: 28/07/2022
Publisher: Nick Hern Books
Extent: 288pp.
Availability: Available

SKU: BK3190 Category: Tags: ,

A clear, supportive and comprehensive guide to writing a play – based on the author’s long-running playwriting masterclasses, as taught at the UK’s National Theatre.

This book leads you through everything you need to know, including:

  • The theatrical tools and techniques you can use to bring your play to life on the stage (and how these differ from writing for film and TV)
  • Discovering and trusting your writing process, with a range of approaches for developing your initial idea into a completed script
  • Understanding your characters, including their goals and central conflicts, and using emotional logic to connect them to your story
  • Finding the dramatic structure and theatrical setting that best suits your play
  • The key elements of constructing a great scene, including how to invoke tension, deepen characterisation and create effective transitions
  • Writing engaging, active dialogue by finding each character’s voice, balancing exposition with subtext, and rooting what a character says in their specific context

Throughout, you’ll find examples from classical and modern plays, plus insights from other contemporary playwrights into their own writing journeys. Each chapter provides a set of exercises to help you practise what you’ve learnt.

There’s also advice on what to do once you’ve finished your script – including redrafting, receiving feedback and taking notes – and how to navigate your play’s progress towards production.

Whether you’re an emerging playwright or embarking on your first-ever play, The Playwright’s Journey will help you develop your creativity, strengthen your connection to your material, and transform your idea into a fully formed play that feels alive on the page – and the stage.

‘A very, very smart book which left me nodding in sage agreement with every chapter… [Lays] bare the most complex, convoluted ideas with exquisite lucidity, wit and empathy… A substantial and rare aesthetic achievement which every aspiring playwright, producer and director should read and respect’ Joe Penhall

‘Kind, good, sane and useable advice, brilliantly written’ Blanche McIntyre

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