The Playwright’s Guidebook, by Stuart Spencer, is a concise and engaging handbook full of the kind of wisdom that comes naturally with experience, presenting a coherant way of thinking about playwriting and including invaluable writing exercises.
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During the more than ten years that Stuart Spencer has taught playwriting, he has struggled to find an effective handbook for his courses. Although most of the currently popular guides contain useful ideas, they all suffer from the same problems: poor organization; quirky, idiosyncratic advice; and abstract theorizing on the nature of art. As a result, they fail to offer any concrete information or useful guidelines on how to construct a well-written play. Out of frustration, Spencer wrote his own. The result, The Playwright’s Guidebook, is a concise and engaging handbook full of the kind of wisdom that comes naturally with experience. Spencer presents a coherent way of thinking about playwriting that addresses the important principles of structure, includes invaluable writing exercises that build upon one another, explores the creative process, and troubleshoots recurrent problems that many playwrights face.
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