The Playwright's Journey
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback, 288 pages ISBN: 9781848425804Publication Date:
28 Jul 2022
Size: 216mm x 138mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
Ebook, 288 pages ISBN: 9781788503945Publication Date:
28 Jul 2022
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)

The Playwright's Journey

From First Spark to First Night

By Jemma Kennedy

Paperback £14.99£11.99

Ebook £14.99£11.99

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

Blog Post: 'Write with your heart as well as your head': Jemma Kennedy on getting started as a playwright. Read more on our blog>>

Press Quotes

'Exquisitely written, extraordinarily perceptive, and delightful to read… the generosity of its insight is priceless... [the book] presents innumerable tips, perspectives, and approaches to developing a writing practice. Kennedy's authorial voice is so commanding, her wealth of experience permeating every snippet. Yet she's also a witty, affirming, and gentle guide… I would encourage anybody with even a passing interest in writing a play to read this book... If you're not a writer and have no aspirations to be, it's still a glorious behind-the-scenes journey to undertake. Students, producers, stage managers, directors, dramaturgs, theatre-goers: if you want to understand more about the extraordinary craft of playwriting, this book won't let you down'

Broadway World

'Invaluable... will help to make any playwright analytical and questioning about the problems and challenges they might face… an essential resource for any writer'

Word Matters (Journal of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama)
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback,288 pages ISBN: 9781848425804Publication Date:
28 Jul 2022
Size: 216mm x 138mm£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)
Ebook,288 pages ISBN: 9781788503945Publication Date:
28 Jul 2022
£14.99 £11.99You save £3.00 (20%)

Also by Jemma Kennedy:

Genesis Inc.
Second Person Narrative

Go to author page...

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