Customer Reviews


10 Reviews
5 star:
 (9)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable practical guide, 31 Jan 2008
By 
Pismotality (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
Tim is a playwright and an inspiring writing tutor - I've done several of his courses and found them really useful for understanding and absorbing mainstream play structure. I suspect this book will be of use to acting students as much as to aspiring writers; I've certainly found his principles invaluable when attempting to analyse plays with directing students.

The actual how-to part of the book may not seem that long - about seventy pages - and a substantial amount of the book is about the process of putting a play on, getting an agent, pitfalls, etc. But the point is that what Tim does say about the process of writing is invaluable because it's the bottled essence of years of working with students and his own experience. His style is down to earth and the book is set out as a series of questions or points so you can return to appropriate sections easily.

He's never overly prescriptive although he fiendishly cuts off the excuses that some of us have for not completing work: "the crucial thing is to keep the play in focus at some time during each day...the moment you get out of the habit of writing every day (for however short a time) ... it is amazing how quickly your project will vanish from view and the subconscious will cease to work on it." (Ain't it the truth?) He also suggests that with the first draft the primary aim is to get to the end, and being too precious about dialogue is pointless at this stage: "You should be thinking about the overall arc and architecture of the piece. Will the building still stand up - and what work needs to be done if it won't." The idea that the second draft should be written afresh rather than cut and pasted from the first is a painful thought (though another practising playwright and tutor, Lin Coghlan, has said much the same), but it's in the third draft, Tim says, where he starts to pay more attention to the dialogue as well as the structure and story arc.

Writing on spec is a lonely and frustrating occupation for the unproven playwright: there's the Catch 22 situation of needing the help and advice from theatres to complete a good draft which is rarely offered until you have, er, already completed a good draft. If you don't have the support system of a writing group (or even if you do) the practical advice in this readable little book can be highly recommended - and as a former literary manager of the Bush Theatre he's pretty well qualified to offer advice on avoiding common writing pitfalls.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because 6 stars ain't available, 9 Jan 2009
By 
Wookstable (Seattle, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
Over the years I have read most books in print on playwrighting. A few are very popular and even the text of choice in some colleges and universities. A quote from Twyla Tharp comes to mind: "Why do we have to crawl to Art on our hands and knees? And put brambles in the path? It's something you do."

There came a point in my life when I realised that what I didn't need was to read another book on playwrighting. I had to start writing the play. I don't know Tim Fountain and I haven't seen his plays, but I can tell you there is more practical -- and honest -- advice in this book than in any other I've read. You have to learn how to write a play by writing the play; what this book does is provide an excellent road map and a terrific guide. I've encountered almost every obstacle and difficulty that he writes about, and his advice is practical and witty and clear and succinct. And the final proof is that it really did get me off my butt and got me writing again, which no book has managed before. That has to be the final test.

In my view, this is the best out there. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best, 14 May 2010
By 
A. M. Vd Heuvel-remmen (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
So you want to be a playwright" is the best book I ever read on playwriting. It is very short and to the point. In the second half (!) of the book he also tell you what happens after your play has been accepted and how you are going to feel during rehearsels.
A very good point is that he strsses all the time: finish the play, finish it, don't write the first episode over and over again. It is not a novel. And write every day for a short time because the development of the play goes on in your brains while you are not writing!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of it's kind, 22 Jun 2011
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
This book basically answers every single question a beginning playwright could possibly have. Written in a really friendly, down to earth style, So, You Want to Be a Playwright helps you encapsulate 'the story only you can tell', takes you through the re-drafting journey and tells you exactly what to do and expect when you get to the stage of trying to market it and get a production. It has been invaluable for me in re-booting my enthusiasm and spurring me on to complete my first play. Highly recommended!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slick, pacey and funny., 18 Mar 2010
By 
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
Anyone who has ever worked in theatre will tell you it's a collaborative art form.
Many discliplines jostle for attention, and Fountain, in his witty and modern book, reminds us that it is the writer who is foremost.

With clear examples from his own literary career, Fountain illustrates a writer's life, their inspiration, and some of the hurdles which must be jumped to achieve theatrical success.

Endlessly witty and clued up, Fountain's book is a pacey read, with anecdotes a plenty, loads of good jokes and a strong sense of what an audience really wants.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - don't be put off by the title, 23 May 2013
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
Easy to overlook this if you already write professionally. So wrong! I've ended up buying it twice: on Kindle, and on paper for scribbling on.

This a fantastic practical primer, but it's far more than that. Fountain gives us an insight into his process, showing that the 'obstacles' we encounter are completely normal - drafts are s***, blocks happen, characters are cussed, read-throughs are scary, the run-up to performance is terrifying, and the whole thing can collapse about your ears. This is oddly reassuring.

He also has lots of gold about the actual writing, e.g. it's fine for first drafts to sound like a terrible B movie. Get the story out, sort out the words later. Same for overwriting - easier to prune than excavate. You don't need a full character biog to start writing. A character flaw/inner conflict is a great place to start. Inside/out thinking - make your characters their own worst enemies. Believe in the specifics of your own world and voice. A sound section on getting produced, focusing on the UK scene.

His unprecious, get-off-your-arse style makes something very difficult seem a lot more possible. Don't be fooled - this is insightful, meaty stuff that will get you digging deep into what matters. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars best how to write book I've read, 19 Oct 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I like the relaxed way he encourages you to write about anything and not to worry about structure at the beginning. Also its not full of confusing jargon like other books.
Really good
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Get It On!, 5 Sep 2013
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced (Paperback)
For me this is the best book on play writing I've read. The tone is that of a tutor who informs, encourages, and cajoles, rather than a teacher who tells you the way to do it. So many other manuals take the intellectual high ground and leave you feeling inferior.

Tim Fountain instructs via his own experience not only of writing plays, but also of being involved in their production. This means all the professional stuff about getting a play produced and what the playwright's involvement is during that process is all here. Most books leave that bit out.

It's a book that makes you feel supported, and with the right to disagree and try other ways of writing. I found myself sometimes thinking, "I'm not sure about that," but then reckoning his recommended method worth a try.

Somehow, it feels as if a two-way dialogue is going on as you read.

Another good one for the shelf, along with all the other Nick Hern "So You Want To Be A..." volumes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Playwrite's Helpline, 25 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Gave advice and useful tips on how to write a play. With a play that I have in mind for a local competition. Very helpful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book xxxxxxxx thanks so much Tim Fountain!!!!!, 22 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Holds your hand then lets you run free and brings you back
Great book
Bought a lot of books this is the only one I'm recommending
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

So You Want to Be a Playwright?: How to Write a Play and Get It Produced
6.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews