Writing Drama

Writing Drama

Writing Drama (French: La dramaturgie) is a treatise by French writer and filmmaker Yves Lavandier, originally published in 1994, revised in 1997, 2004 and 2008. The English version was translated from the French by Bernard Besserglik and published in 2005. The book exists also in Italian and Spanish.


Writing Drama explores the mechanisms of dramatic story telling. The author makes a clear distinction between what is written to be seen and/or heard (theater, cinema, television, radio, opera and to a lesser extent comic books) and what is written to be read (literature).

The book's principle is the same as Aristotle's Poetics. Yves Lavandier examines works by major scriptwriters and playwrights (Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Charles Chaplin, Hergé, Alfred Hitchcock, Henrik Ibsen, Ernst Lubitsch, Molière, Dino Risi, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, etc) in order to answer three questions:
* what do dramatic works consist of?
* why is this so?
* how does one go about writing them?

The author scans all the tools of dramatic narrative: conflict, protagonist, obstacles, suspense, characterisation, three-act structure, preparation, dramatic irony, comedy, activity, dialogue. A play written by Molière, "The School for Wives", and a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, "North by Northwest", are analysed in detail. Several appendices deal with writing for children, drama and literature, short films, documentaries, etc.


Writing Drama is considered a reference textbook amongst European playwrights and scriptwriters.

Yves Lavandier is also a filmmaker. He has written and directed several shorts and one feature film called Yes, But....

External links

* [http://www.clown-enfant.com/leclown/eng/drama/index.htm The publisher's website devoted to Writing Drama]
* [http://www.clown-enfant.com/leclown/eng/drama/comments.htm What the professionals say about Writing Drama]
* [http://www.clown-enfant.com/leclown/eng/drama/blogs.htm What the bloggers say about Writing Drama]
* [http://www.clown-enfant.com/leclown/eng/drama/matiere.htm Excerpts from the book]

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