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Almost a year ago I took a creative writing class. The interesting part about it was that it wasn't the usual creative writing that focused on poetry & short stories. It was short story and playwriting. I was very intrigued. I had never thought about playwriting before, but someone once suggested I check it out. I'd been having trouble getting my story down with all that wgoes into novels and books, etc. I took the class and needless to say I loved the playwriting section. It was a lot of fun--the most fun I'd had writing in a long time.
Anyway, cutting to the chase, short of diving into an advanced playwriting class at school, I'm hoping to find books for beginning playwriters. I understand from talking to my professor that plays have different techniques and mechanics than short story and novel writing.
If anyone can help me out, I would appreciate it!
The writing book that I was reading last night made a comment that in order to better understand dialogue, you should try to write your story as a play. That doesn't answer your question, but it sounded good when I read it.
I don't know much about writing plays. So, I only know of one book on the subject - The Complete Book of Scriptwriting. And, the only reason I know of it is because I happen to have a copy on my shelf. However, I haven't actually read it, so I can't really offer up any recommendation.
I do know that there's a section on the categories specificially for Play & Screenwriting. There's a bunch of books in there including the one mentioned above. Maybe one of them could help.
Here's the link to the category.
Several years ago when I took a creative writing class, they had us get the Syd Field books--I think they are called Screenplay or Screenplay Workbook--something like that. They are on my bookshelf at school, if I get up there I will go check the titles. I remember that they had lots of information, and talked about formatting, etc. Good luck to you!